I created somenew pages here on the blog which you can link into and find pics for miles. The pages are listed at the top of the blog. Check out the ones featuring friends’ inspiring homes (hey there, Mary Korfanty, Barbara Gold, Dwight West, Linda Goodwin, and Dr. Ladenberger).
(This is a new blog format/theme and I am having a hell of a time getting the fonts right. Apologies if it comes out wonky. It is very very late at night.)
After a year on the wait list for an apartment at the Juliette Fowler retirement community, the move happened all of a sudden at Christmas. Around that time we BA ’66 grads lost one of ou icons, one of our beloveds, to cancer. I was so glad to have spent a little time with Bobby Bassett over the last few years; mainly at art venues and then later in hospice. I sure hope I see you in the afterlife.
Bobby is on the left. Middle: Brent; right: BryanLots of artwork in various media going on here in my new home. It’s only 600 sq. ft. and I’m pretty used to living small, but I do have to have my art supplies, artwork and treasures! I’m comfortable here and the 2 big windows with expansive views plus high ceilings, keep me from feeling closed in. I’ve joined the artists’ group here, and have committed to the water aerobics class by purchasing a new swim dress. I was without Wifi for awhile, so couldn’t post. Today and evening I got caught up on blog posts by creatives I follow. That was cool.
Meantime, here are pics from The Lakewood Library 54th Annual Artists’ show on view all of May. I am thrilled to have 2 pieces in it; cardboard and fabric doll, and acrylic painting using the techniques I learned from Lynn Whipple during her online class, The Essence of Still Life. I will never paint the same old way again!
Here is work by a new artist friend Jacqui during our weekly art workshop here at JFCA:
Months ago, I downsized from a 3 bedroom house to 1 bedroom apartment. Oh GOD. Don’t let me use large boxes ever again! I’m too old for this. But even so, YES, I will be moving again next year…..to an even smaller apartment in a modest retirement community in Old East Dallas on the edge of Lakewood. Love that. Plus, it will be much cheaper, and that’s the whole point of all this Damn Downsizing.
I let go of almost half of what I owned before the move. Painful at times, yet freeing. Cousin Julie, who had also just downsized, sent me her copy of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing” by Marie Kondo. A revelation. If the item doesn’t “spark joy” when you touch it, let it go to a new owner who might love it. (or just throw it away). Serious magic, indeed. Important to follow the order she prescribes, as your confidence and clarity grows throughout the process. The only thing I couldn’t do was fold all my blouses/tops for storage in drawers. I prefer hangers and I’m NOT a young petite person like Ms. Kondo. You get the idea.
New apartment, “Before”…..
So now we come to the “After” pics:
See the tall, narrow coffee cups? With the Dutch canal houses on them? A serendipitous gift from friends and newlyweds Jennifer and Marcel. He’s Dutch, she’s a Dallas gal and now she lives in my favorite country, Holland, with Marcel and his two darling daughters. The coffee cups are from Amsterdam. They replace my favorite cup which somehow got left behind during my move and for which I grieved, silly as that sounds….my son Eric made the wood plaque for me when we lived in The Lehigh Valley for a few years. I still miss the snow and the scenic views.
And my 50th high school reunion was so cool, that none of us got as many photos of each other as we wanted. I could only stop talking long enough to take a few.
This formatting is about to kill me. I can’t figure it out. Something changed.
During all this life readjustment, I had cataract surgeries on both eyes. Long process. These sketches were all done during that time, and around the presidential election, which was also a cause for my watery, blurry eyes. And general depression.
Last weekend my artist buddy Linda Garten Goodwin and I went on our neighborhood’s Cayuga Plaza Open Studio tour. It sits just east of White Rock Lake, on the other side of the railroad track from my house. We love our train. When it rains, and the conductor blows that train whistle, there is no better sound.
Visit the websites of these talented artists, and visit their custom work studios. Call Dawn for an appointment to see her Artisan Finishes studio at 214-500-2063. And check out Richard Wincorn’s beautiful spread in Scouting The Best of Local Dallas Vol. 3 City Guide.
Well, that’s a bit of an overstatement about my irritations today, but I’m still in a twit over it and needing to just get over myself. Nothing’s so irritating as knowing just enough about computers and blogs and social media sites and online shops and digital photos and scans ET AL….to just irritate yourself silly.
I was tweaking my blog you see, and sorta crashed my PC. I still have my MacBook which needs a new OS (since it is going on 8 years old) so I’m plugging away on it right now. I do love it, bless its tiny screen, but I also love my BIG monitor PC. OK.
Poking around in my photo files, I found some pics that illustrated what I thought were Projects Gone Terribly Wrong. I’m wondering if I can rescue a couple of them because in retrospect, they don’t appear as horrid to me know as they did back then. I can crop and digitally correct some scans, and I can paint all around and over the oil. Unless I just decide to start on Something Else Entirely.
But Oh Boy! Here’s some Things I REALLY Like; pics from friends, the neighborhood, famous artists, and my own scribbles as well:
I’m really getting in the mood to make some simple cloth dolls. I had forgotten about this little drawing, and maybe she has surfaced at just the right time. Yes, most definitely.
Since retiring from office work I’ve made it my bizness to jump full into art making. Who knew it was so much work? Social media has certainly upped the ante in the game. Not complaining; just sayin’. I am grateful to have all these avenues. So, I joined Dallas Area Fiber Artists (DAFA) organization as well as Texas Association of Visual Artists (TVAA), both here in Dallas.
Friend and fellow artist Linda Goodwin and I visited TVAA’s “Black & White” curated exhibit at the Plaza of the Americas in downtown Dallas’ Arts District. Understand that Linda and I are both Dallas natives, have been downtown a gazillion times (albeit separately); both have smart phones, and Linda has a gps, but we still got lost, as per usual. So as the Gallery was closing, we show up! frazzeled! excited! and are dazzled by the talent displayed. Check ’em out: http://www.tvaa.org
In September, we went to the Lakewood Summer Arts Faire where I bought a bag of little hand dyed silk scraps from Val Guignon, Linda came away with a hand dyed silk top from her and amazingly dazzling pendant lights made from gourds by Le Gourd on Blue. I had a heartwarming chat with Cynthia Brannum, Art Program Director at The Stewpot, a downtown Dallas ministry; I own a painting by one of her students there, Mr. Cornelius Brackens, Jr. Check ’em out: http://www.thestewpot.org
Another exciting event was when I learned that artist Jane Cather, whom I so greatly admire, was blogging again after a four-year hiatus! check her out here: http://janecather.wordpress.com/
I bought the cutest little embroidered pincushion from my Dutch friend; it’s the orange bicycle cross-stitch on natural linen; check her out here: http://www.nellyslittlegifts.nl or search Etsy for nellyslittlegifts
My friend Susan recently ordered an assemblage item for her granddaughter from me. So I made this little character – no, it made itself! using a plastic bottle that contained an Ensure-like beverage, silk fabric strips, wire, wall anchors, cool paper clips, beads, muslin, embroidery thread, and price tags, which I labeled each with an aspect of personality or desire. Head lifts out and Katie can write something she wants to change or happen on a note, and drop it inside the body. I also fixed up a kit for her to make one for someone else.
And then, I opened my Etsy shop. I have more items to add to the 13 currently listed, but am in the process of cutting, glueing, and photographing/staging them. What a lot of work! But so gratifying. Here’s a peak at a couple things listed:
My background music tonight is: Joe Bonamassa Live from New York Beacon Theatre
Recently my focus has shifted somewhat from sketch journaling to obsessively feasting my hungry eye on images from my collection of books and periodicals related to mixed media. All art forms inform one another in my opinion. I’m still sketching, but not on a daily basis. So it happens recently that a weekend with grandson Castle coincides with an Art Mart event at White Rock Lake. And off we go.
While there I found an irresistible art doll by Jan Byron; she and I discussed the dilemma between the urge to keep our inner well-spring of creativity “pure” by avoiding looking at other artists’ work, and the desire to see what they are up to.
I believe that even if we find ourselves strongly influenced by the art around us, a point of view, a technique; nevertheless, we should dive right in to savoring all the inspiration and information available to us (if that is our choice) and not fear being criticized as being unoriginal or derivative in our approach.
But copying someone’s art and claiming it as your own design is not just copyright infringement but unethical as well; not to mention completely unsatisfying. Anyway that discussion was had all over the web years ago, and everyone understands it.
What is different, and allowed, is interpreting a piece in your own way while giving credit to the other artist for your inspiration. And anyway, our own style, taste, skill level and emotions and even the angle at which we hold a pen belong solely to us and no matter how hard we might try, we simply cannot make an artdoll look exactly like one made by anyone else.
And I was thrilled to see that Jan had wisely kept her pricing more in line with what a great piece deserves to sell for, rather than lowering them into a level that is competitive with a retail chain store gift department just because of the economy. Good art of any genre is worth the price, pride and delight the buyer feels while gasping, “I own this! OMG I just bought a OOAK (one of a kind) artwork! I deserve this for (insert any rationalization here)” “ Happy Birthday Me!”
So, I treated my grandson Castle to an awesome print by Brad W. Foster, whose work we fell hard for that day. As for me, I went home with art doll “Turn the Page…” by Jan Byron. I plan on making myself an art doll for my birthday coming up. I wonder what it will look like?
I’ve got too much to say, since I waited so long to finalize this post. So today, I won’t say much. Just that I’ve been paying attention to world events, the circus that is the Republican primary (could Rick Perry possibly embarrass us Texans any more?! Bad enough he won the last gubernatorial race); concentrating on my job and polishing my CSR skills; hanging out with artist and friends, even if some of it occurs via the internet. Sometimes Castle, my 10 year old grandson comes to visit. He’s so cool (of course). I finally got a kitty cat for my dog Ziggy; a sweet little adult Calico from the SPCA.
But mostly I’ve been growing my hair and changing my style, ‘cuz I am intent on looking more like the old hippie artist that I used to be and am circling around to becoming again. Recently trying to eat more organically and cutting wheat and gluten out of my diet. I feel much better already.
A big focus has been completing my entry for The Sketchbook Project 2012 World Tour for the Art House and Brooklyn Art Library. Monday I’ll mail my book on to New York City, and it will be a little like sending a piece of me out into the world, knowing it will be happy in the company of thousands of others, off to tour the world beginning in April. Bon voyage, little drawings! I’ll miss you! Have fun, and don’t forget to write!
Seems like April was jammin’ after I recovered from a nasty case of poison ivy in March, and I was practically manic with gifts from the Universe: everything just seemed to flow. You know how that is. I’d been reading my usual stack of books on spirituality and creativity and my energy level was higher than usual. I painted my kitchen Ben Moore Jade Green and tricked it out with an old pink plastic chandelier I’d stashed in a drawer years ago; finally painted that ugly subfloor in the adjoining den a glossy white. Met up with friends at their show & sale at the Dallas Bath House Cultural Center Art Mart; got sage advice from friend Loretta in upstate NY about blogging & marketing. Kept applying for jobs, hoping to land one before UI benefits run out. Started my blog and scanned all my current journal-sketches.
Got an abscessed gum and crashed. Got that fixed. There went all “discretionary funds” for awhile. Ouch. So this week has been a total bust except for the sublime weekend spent with my darling 9 year old grandson, Castle. Still, I felt totally slammed and wondered why.
I really prefer the times when I feel that I’m in that state of allowing Source to flow in and through me and I’m sort of skipping around with multiple tools and expressions of my and others’ limitless creativity just exploding around us! Silly woman. It’s just not indefinitely sustainable, and the upsides of ennui are 1) it’s so freakin’ dramatic, and 2) it’s not indefinitely sustainable either.