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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Drooling with juicy inspiration today...Artists, books, resilience, nature...

Slow and Steady Wins The Race!
Happy Thursday from Hampshire!

Upcoming Events and News! Newsletter #5!
My 5th e-newsletter went through cyberspace this morning, so if you haven't subscribed through, please do!  There are fun updates on my work, blog, and little surprises along the way.  If you don't feel like signing up, you can always read today's here at this link, but oh come on, just do it... :)
There are also some new links up on my website, including my article Never Lose Your Hunger from the Small Business Forum, my writings for Quest Nutrition as a Super-Finalist, my Beechwood Arts Artist Conversation and my Gutless & Grateful Teaser Reel - man I need more hours in the day!!!

Arts Immersion Salon: Resilience
I'm very excited to say that tickets officially go on sale for the Resilience Arts Immersion Salon today!  On May 31st in Westport CT, a very exciting event will be taking place that integrates arts, healing, and the resilience of the human spirit.  

My artwork, my one-woman show and my interesting little journey will be featured, as well as the wonderfully inspiring stories and creative juices of several other really amazing artists, so if you're around, buy your tickets today, and if not, at least check out the website to learn about these great artists.  

The wonderful thing about Beechwood Art's Immersion Salons is that they are broadcast throughout the world.  You can learn more about their Immersion Salons and Salons Around the World HERE.

The Power of Words
Since I do happen to be on campus right now, tomorrow night I will be participating in the "More Than Words" Showcase at Hampshire College presented by the Transformative Speaking Program

There are more ways to communicate than just through words. Using things such as body language we, as humans, have the ability to relate to other human beings with expression. Combining mediums such as dance, comedy, music, language, poetry, and theater, we demonstrate how different mediums to promote change through interaction and expression.
I will be presenting my own art, as well as a multi-media piece I collaborated on with fellow students, based on a mixed media piece I created called "Mommy Can't Fix This".
It was a very wonderful project.  A student Kaylie Vezina wrote a series of monologues based on my paintings.  She then choreographed a dance based on her reflections.  Kaylie wanted to write about the transition of a daughter growing up and the mother's reactions to the natural evolution of a mother-daughter relationship.

From my home in Connecticut, I spoke these monologues and acted them out as the mother, while on campus, Kaylie danced the monologues as the daughter.  Although we didn't work on these together, it's amazing how synchronistic our actions were.  '

What was so interesting about this project was how my art was based on my own personal experiences, yet it served as a mirror for Kaylie to interpret the painting based on her reactions - in this way, art can be such a wonderful reflection on ourselves.  While Kaylie interpreted my art as the tug-of-war battle of growing up that occurs in a mother-daughter relationship, I created Mommy Can't Fix This as a reaction to the medical turmoil around me, that I or my family had no control over.  
"Tears for Tomorrow"  , which I made in Yale Hospital
How many times did I wish my mother could just sap her fingers and magically allow my scars to heal, or for me to be able to have a sip of water?
"Lost in a Tear" which I made in Yale Hospital

But you learn in life that your parents can't fix everything, and sometimes you can't "fix" everything either.  You can only surrender, accept, and find the blessings where you can.  That can also be the greatest blessing and gift, however, should you use this opportunity in that way.
"I Can Hold On"
In the Hampshire!

Well, it ain't home, but I've got stuff to paint with, stuff to paint on, and a spirit I've gotta paint, so I'm paintin' away at Hampshire College for some always-appreciated studio time!
Although there is no place like my studio...

Artists are so inspiring...
The more I learn about art and some really amazing artists, the more inspired I am by them.  Also, the more I see reflections of my own work in some artists I truly admire.  For example...

The romance and whimsy of Chagall...

The poignant cut-outs of Matisse...

The personal narratives so imminent in Frida Kahlo's work...

The crazy-beautiful abstractions by Kandinsky...

The passion for color and vibrancy in nature by Van Gogh...

(My paintings are obviously the ones on the right hand side!)

Every now and then, I even try to push myself on the occasional still life...
I could go on and on, but I think it is so important, when we are studying a craft, to learn about those who came before us.  It can inspire us, provoke us, give us insight into the past and move our own work forward.  I try to get to any kind of art museum every chance I get, and I'm always scavenging for the latest art books at Barnes & Noble.

Inspiring Books!

And speaking of some book-art inspiration - I wanted to recommend two books (for now - I've got a ton more!) that continue to inspire me...
"Creative Awakenings"  :  Envisioning the Life of your Dreams through Art is a wonderful book with inspiration and projects on "using creativity to manifest your personal intention."  I used this book constantly when I was trying to find myself after my medical detour and wasn't exactly sure what I was passionate about anymore, or just who I was.  You don't need to be an artist to relate to this book,  And if anything, the pictures are gorgeous and the writings are simply inspirational.
Give Me The Moon
And, an amazing woman who really deserves her own post - but I'll recommend more of her books in the future, is SARK.  She writes a ton of amazingly inspirational books, all about being fearless, reckless, succulent and creative.  You can find all of her products here but one of my favorite books of hers (just to get you started) is Glad No Matter What:  Transforming Loss and Change Into Opportunity...which brings today's blog post full circle, because indeed, that happens to be what my Resilience Arts Immersion Salon is all about!
Sark is just an amazingly juicy bucket of inspiration - go check her out!

Inspiring Art...

I also said I would keep posting some artwork of others that inspires me, and please do continue to check out my Art Ideas I Love Board on Pinterest, where I keep finding some great art-eye-candy.  For now, check out this amazing shadow box art/sculpture/altered-amazingness!

The artist is Angela Venable and you can view her YouTube video HERE.

In terms of more altered book art fun, I love the work of Frank Turek - and one of my artistic goals is to alter a book into some kind of fabulous sculpture as he has done.

So much fun romping around the 'net these days - I'll try to feature an artist that inspires me every day...but where to start?

I've been trying to experiment with my own shadow box work - definitely a project to learn more about in the future - if anyone wants to share their own altered work with me, go ahead and comment, or remember, you can always pin on my Show Me Your heART Board - just follow that board on Pinterest and I'll send you an invitation!
Eh...I guess I'll work a but more on that shadow box thingy...

Random inspiration before I go...
This may be a bit early in the day but I like to plan ahead:

A quick little laugh:

And think you know exactly what to make in a Bundt Pan?  Think again!!!


And remember...

Be juicy and FEARLESS today!!!
(and sketch some cows...)
Oh Hampshire...
The way to accomplish the assignment of truly living is to engage fully, richly, and deeply in the living of your dreams. We are made to dream and to live those dreams.” 


  1. Sounds like you have so many fun and beautiful things going on in life right now. Enjoy!


  2. I love the inspiration! It makes me want to get back into art more. Your still life is very realistic, and I like the colors you use! Happy painting. :)