Monday, December 27, 2010

She just likes to dance

Paul happens to be a closet puppeteer and here's his first attempt with the very enthusiastic dancing marionette Ms. Santa brought him. We haven't named her yet. Any suggestions? She was born in New HampShire, hand carved by Marie Tanya Keller and has deep roots in Eastern Europe.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Some Pretty Sparkley Things

I've been designing a catalogue for Swarovski Crystals that will be printed next week. I thought I'd share a sneak peek of some of the spreads. Model photos by the wonderful Sandy and Rick of Hornick Rivlin Photography, product photos by Ira Garber Photography, print production and design assistance by Morris DeLuzio, wardrobe styling by the fabulous Janine Maggiore, hair and makeup by the lovely Kate Mahan, my hardworking production assistant, Cody Nowell, making so much appear out of thin air and the city of Providence for being such a treasure trove of locations. I had the best time scouting for the spots we shot in and feel so lucky the owners or managers were so gracious and hospitable. I've referenced every location or business which are each worth a visit the next time you're in the area.

Top and second spread are Donna from Wilhemina at Duck and Bunny
Third is Donna at Heir Antiques, Fourth is Kate from Maggie at Hotel Providence,
Fifth is Margaret from Maggie on the roof of the Peerless Building and 
last is Donna again, also on the Peerless roof top.

Litany by Billy Collins

One of my favorite Billy Collins poems recited by three year old. Nice article on NPR, too. I recommend not traveling through the online comments. Makes me a little weary of the preference to judge by so many people. Someone enjoying language at any age for any reason is a joy to behold.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Friend Janice Floats

Janice Kelly, a friend who combines wit, taste and charm like no one I've ever met, has just launched a wonderful business that will make you smile. She designs and installs giggley giant balloon sculptures. Dale Chihuly with a really big smirk. To see more of her designs and to contact her go here.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Creepy Friday

Paul and I spent the day in NY yesterday, professional conference day for him, total day of fun for me. Beautiful sunny day, smell of leaves, soft light and the Gerhard Richter show at the Drawing Center. Had to go to NY Central Art Supply and buy paper immediately following. Today we're finishing up some photos for Mole Hollow, I'm drawing, then finishing my grandson's little gory Halloween costume. He decided to be zombie this year. Couldn't talk him out of it. I asked him a few questions about how he envisioned the costume. Could he be a cute zombie? "No" A Ronald MacDonald zombie? "Absolutely no". Let's work on the back story, then. How did you become a zombie? How did the zombies turn you into one? "Mippy all this talk about zombies is scaring me. Just make the costume, ok"? I'll finish the costume tomorrow and then hide the mirrors.
I love going to cemeteries. They are always so life affirming and make you stop and remember you're alive. Try it when you're sad or not pausing enough in life. Turns things around pretty quickly. Here are a few pics of my favorite cemetery in Paris, Pere Lachaise. Some lucky folks who nap there? Sarah Bernhardt, Gertrude Stein, Balzac, Maria Callas, Issadora Duncan, Jim Morrison but Oscar Wild wins for most kisses. Beautiful images are from Chris Turner's photo essay-

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Art Best Performed in the Dark

I was a little afraid of the dark (okay a lot) when I was a girl. Actually, mostly the hidden aliens. Watching ten minutes of Invasion of the Pod People convinced me they were there. Under my bed. My strategy was to always face the wall letting the hall light catch any invaders in shadow as they pounced. While I waited to be eaten alive I would make shadow animals, to calm myself. Because I'm an actor always waiting for my light and had a few decades of Pod People patrol, I'm pretty good at it. Shadowgraphy, or the art of Ombromi, made famous by french entertainer, Felicien Trewey, reached it's peek around the end of the 19th century. The cause of it's demise? Mostly the household light bulb. And movies made it a lot less exciting, too. It seems like a miracle to all of us in this century. To distract yourself from the goblins this weekend you can go here and learn a few moves. This is a link to the You Tube video of unusualist, Aussie Raymond Crowe performing It's A Wonderful World.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Slice of Baby Boo, Wee-Be-Little, or Red Warty Pie

Paul and I got to produce and shoot a video recently for an ad agency in Providence, Duffy and Shanley. The asked us to create a fall feast in a 100 year old structure, Smith Barn in Peabody, MA. 50 paper lanterns hung above a thirty foot long table. For me it was one long blank canvas and I had a ball. Pumpkin and ghord shopping was at the top of my list. I visited my friends at Walker Farm stand in Tiverton and Andrew Orr in Westport. The colors, warts, grooves, bumps, and roly poly bums of these funny veggies made me grin. Here are a few examples of the beauties I brought home.
Thank you Haunted Bay for the great pumpkin and ghord education.
From the top left- Jarrahdale, We Be Little, Howden, Long Island Cheese,
Baby Boo, Cinderella, Cross-Polinated, One Too Many, Pump Ke Mon
Zucca Rotondo, Red Hubbard, and Grey Hubbard.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Poem for Monday

 A Noiseless Patient Spider
A noiseless, patient spider,
I mark'd, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;
Mark'd how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;
Ever unreeling them--ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you, O my Soul, where you stand,

Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,--seeking the spheres, to
connect them;
Till the bridge you will need, be form'd--till the ductile anchor
Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul.
-Walt Whitman

Lovely Victorian style silhouette on etsy by Mad Barking Arts

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hi again friend

O.K. It's been awhile. And I'm back. In the last month my show went up and came down,  Paul and I built a magical set and did a lovely video shoot in an antique barn, I finished the design for packaging and web for Mole Hollow Candles, the AS220 signage project is underway (Arley and I found some one to paint much of the design in gold leaf on storefronts!) and now I'm in the middle of a 64 page jewelry catalogue that I can't wait to show you. I'm not complaining just amazed that so many wonderful projects have made their way to and out my door in the last month. But I have missed you.

Here's a little amazement from Mary Oliver-

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it's over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Poem for Monday

Watercolors from my new show at Crowell's Veckatimest Calm (West and East)
September feels like the autumnal version of June. The beginning of the lovely season shift gets us buzzed to do it all. See every friend and share every friend's specialness. This weekend we had a friday cocktail party, a saturday play, three sunday art openings, a brunch to make and my art show to make final preparations for. Sunday morning we decided to just stop instead. The joy of doing nothing. I wouldn't be sharing this poem with you now if I hadn't stolen that lovely nothing. But this Naomi Shihab Nye's poem says it better.

The Art of Disappearing
When they say Don’t I know you?
say no.
When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
before answering.
Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
Then reply.
If they say we should get together
say why?
It’s not that you don’t love them any more.
You’re trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.
When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven’t seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don’t start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.
Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.

Naomi Shihab Nye
The poet reading this poem here

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Art Show Opening September 16

My latest collection of abstract watercolors will be shown at Crowell's Gallery in New Bedford, MA September 16 through October 9. If you're nearby, please stop by for the opening reception September 16 from 6-9. Vivipary is what I call this body of work and you can definitely feel the labor pains around here as Kate, Paul and I pull the last bits together for the show. For those of you that have helped grow my list of followers, thank you so much. Great job. I'd love to send out some more free tiny art and you have till the 15th so nudge those online pals. If there is anyone I've missed please let me know. It's easy to loose track with peeps introducing themselves through email, facebook, tweetie birds.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First days of school

I've noticed a lot of us still want to have a little of the starting school flutters. Sneaking in a little purchase of new shoes, or socks for ourselves when September comes around is a sweet indulgence. I find myself craving some sharp pencils and new undies. I missed my grandson's first day of school this year but the following photo montage is from last year and still makes me smile. Watching him slowly go from early morning hatching to butterflies and grins as he steps on the bus gives me flutters. Butterflies just as good, maybe better, than the first day of school kind.
Click here for the whole slide show.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Earl Schmearl

I think the milk and bread industries sponsored Earl. We did get all the lawn furniture and garden tools put away. But he hasn't amounted amount to much so far. This little video by my son-in-law, Alex Chen, captures what Earl did best today. Made some waves and giggles.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Uppercase and Feeling Bookish

Uppercase, the incredible magazine, gallery, book and papergoods store in Calgary just put together an exhibition of over 40 best of book designs sent in from readers entitled Feeling Bookish. The call for submissions was to design a cover that is a self portrait of your life. Uppercase gallery will show the work in their gallery at Art Central, opening tonight. For those of us who have to work tomorrow and can't pull off the drive to Canada, Uppercase is offering their magazine subscribers a peek at the majority of submissions in their upcoming Issue No. 7. Here is the link to their site and to their blog with more info about the show. Below is a winning submissions by Andrea Armstrong who sees herself as Chicken Girl, a title very close to my heart.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Good Bye to an Amazing Talent

As a young art director in the mid eighties, I was very fortunate to hire calligrapher Raphael Boguslav for a lettering project. My brief encounter with him, which included a visit to his studio, an impromptu piano solo, and a lunch he prepared for us from his garden, left a powerful impression on me. His dedication to exploring every possible combination of forms, paper, inks, and pens followed me for the next 25 years and influenced how I have arrived at answers for my own projects. A true renaissance man, Raphael was hit while riding his scooter in Newport recently and died shortly after. Take five minutes to watch the video/interview and I promise you'll be inspired, shown here. Raphael was a dear friend of my friend, Pat Hegnauer, and the clock you see at the end of the video was a gift to her. His site can be found here.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Color of Candlelight

Paul and I get to work in candlelight again. Mole Hollow Candles has asked us to shoot their product line and packaging design for the new site we're launching this fall. We had so much fun concepting and shooting a series of lifestyle shots for them last year. I feel so lucky when I have a client who trusts me with so many aspects of their branding. Logo, packaging, photo, and now the site. They also let me sneak one of my vivipary paintings into each shot. Art and commerce?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Heavenly Blue Shibori

These beautiful samples of shibori dyeing are from John Kubiniec of Big Rig Quilting. A client and friend, John just started his long arm quilt finishing business this spring. He was recently tapped by McCalls Patterns for their next Great Designer Competition. Visit his blog here for more of his work and details about what he does. It was fun to work on his logo and now on to his website.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Moonlight Sonata in my pocket

The place that inspired Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.
Years ago I discovered during a period of great sadness, that the color blue has a powerful uplifting effect on me. Is it because of blue skies? I have a few pieces of jewelry and clothing I wear purposefully for this reason. One is a pocket watch I emptied and put one of Paul's photos in. This photo was taken from a ferry, looking across the Balaton Lake in Hungary. The body of water that inspired Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Taken with velvia film and Paul's handmade lens this image hasn't been adjusted in Photoshop. It came out of the camera this way. Apparently this body of water is filled with minerals, is a turquoise green during the day and is filled with some unusual fish. It's also known for plenty of thunder storms. What I love about it is the feeling of hope and moving through the storms nearby.

Moonlight Sonata in a pocket.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Poem for Monday

I tried really hard to embrace the gray this morning. It looks like we're sandwiched between 5 days of rain. I think I'll go for the blue this week. This is a poem my dear of dears, Pat Hegnauer wrote for me when I took her to one of the most beautiful places I know, mid coast Maine. When we have a few summer rainy days in a row, I tend to yearn for Maine's big clear blue skies. Maine resident Eric Hopkins, painter of countless coastal islands there, captures the color and my heart ache for "Vacationland" This painting is called Three Points and more of his work can be found here.
Blueberry Girl
-Pat Hegnauer
The blueberry girl coos
and ruffles her breast to nest
and hatch remembrance
of Grandmother's geography;
maple mountains, cedar seas,
and spiced stands of balsam.

Standing rocky yards away
from the Pemaquid light
she glows bright at eventide,
casts her memory fore and aft
in shadows of the deep rills
and channeled ocean slabs.

She hunts miles on thin roads
for sea-lavender and scallops,
picks lobster from her smile,
bathes in the chamomile stars
cascading down the wide
black northern nights.

Her family bones are tangled
deep in stoney soil and fierce farms,
hunkered on the salty slopes,
and grassy dells patched in forests
greening to the bouldered bays
where inlets wait for tides and sky.

Friday, August 20, 2010

How To Be Alone

From my grandmother's home, Prince Edward Island, Tanya Davis has just found a new fan. Thank you lovely Leigh for introducing me to this beautiful voice.

Fun Friday

You guys were amazing this week helping me grow my follower list. We added close to 40 new peeps. I'll be sending some little packages of color vivipary to Thea and Maria. Please let me know if I've missed anyone. Some of you have sent new friends my way but it may not be clear yet in the follower list who they are. Have a beautiful weekend and keep your eyes open for those lovely sighs of summer yellow.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I Really Like Walter Feldman

As many of you know I get a little wobbly before a show. I think it's just what we get for wiring as artists. If we're sensitive to all the beauty around us why wouldn't we be sensitive to the criticism? I find showing and talking about my work to some trusted people just before, really helps. Gets me ready to let the work go and finally stand on my feet. I made a trip to the Little Compton studio of artist Walter Feldman this week and shared my work. I met Walter a few years ago because I sat across from him at a restaurant that has 10 of my collages on their walls. He asked the waitress who's work it was... he really liked it. We started talking and he told me he did a little painting, too and gave me his number if I wanted to get together. Walter is a charming 85 who has a lovely wife Barbara. When I came home and casually mentioned the encounter to Paul he nearly fell off his chair. "Walter Feldman likes your work? Sweetie this is great!" "Who's Walter Feldman?" I asked. Here and here are links to his work. A little intimidated to say the least, I brought my pile to him on Monday and with in minutes felt inspired rather than intimidated. He knew immediately which works were tied to my heart and which weren't. And how to tweek the ones that weren't quite singing yet. I felt so lucky to have this time with him. Some how we got around to this blog and the friends I'm finding on it and he asked "What is a blog, anyway and do you think I need a website?" So guess who get's to do a little payback and bringing Walter up to speed on this blogging thing?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

8.17.10 Tuesday's Color Swatch

P M S  N o. 1225
little sigh 
of summer yellow
you ease your soft head
onto our laps 
as we sit at the picnic
tables of august.
the monarchs on the
joe pie weed
have our eye so
we don't notice you
reaching your peek,
until your soft voice
clears it's throat
and trumpets orange
-Alyn Carlson
Photo by Sylvie Van Hulle 
found here on flickr

Monday, August 16, 2010

8.16.10 Poem for Monday

New landscape for show opening September 16 at Crowel's Fine Art
 A Lemon
-Pablo Neruda
Out of lemon flowers
on the moonlight, love's
lashed and insatiable
sodden with fragrance,
the lemon tree's yellow
the lemons
move down
from the tree's planetarium

Delicate merchandise!
The harbors are big with it-
for the light and the
barbarous gold.
We open
the halves
of a miracle,
and a clotting of acids
into the starry
original juices,
irreducible, changeless,
so the freshness lives on
in a lemon,
in the sweet-smelling house of the rind,
the proportions, arcane and acerb.

Cutting the lemon
the knife
leaves a little cathedral:
alcoves unguessed by the eye
that open acidulous glass
to the light; topazes
riding the droplets,
aromatic facades.

So, while the hand
holds the cut of the lemon,
half a world
on a trencher,
the gold of the universe
to your touch:
a cup yellow
with miracles,
a breast and a nipple
perfuming the earth;
a flashing made fruitage,
the diminutive fire of a planet.