Friday, August 21, 2015

Creeping Up On Giving a Shit

I was at my hairdresser's the other day and he looked pretty excited when I said, "Surprise me! Do whatever you want." And then his face fell a little when I continued with, "Although I have to tell you, I am totally lazy. I'm not going to brush it or blow dry it or even wash it more than once a week. BUT, I have to look presentable for my job." "Hmmm", he mused. "Shall we say that you want your look to say creeping up on giving a shit?" I genuinely laughed so hard, because there has never been a more accurate description of "my look" than that. I don't mind telling you that there are days I don't even give a shit at all. These are the deliciously selfish days that I wear pajamas all day and eat chocolate brownies for breakfast. And there is an art for that. This is not the art that takes 40 hours of grueling work to complete. It is not the art hanging in a gallery that I have to attend openings for, dressed up with hair coiffed. This is the pajama wearing, brownie eating, dog sleeping on my feet art that creeps up on giving a shit. This is the fun stuff that re-charges my batteries.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Afternoon Watch

"I must endure and endure and still endure."

Tennessee Williams

"The Afternoon Watch"
12" x 24"
 acrylic on paper mounted on cradle board

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Anti-Selfie

"If it will keep my heart soft,
break my heart everyday."
Warsan Shire

I've been told I wear my heart on my sleeve for the world to see. You could probably ask me anything about me and I would tell you straight up, which surprises me because I am an introverted recluse. I skirt around social situations like an aloof and camera shy fox. There are almost no existing photographs of me and I certainly would never take a selfie. This was a problem, I discovered, after I was invited to participate in a selfie inspired art show.

It's true, I do often see myself as a fox. Foxes are small, autonomous, creative, flirtatious, inconspicuous and best left alone when angry. I sculpted this little girl wearing a fox mask to represent me at an upcoming art show.

The Proust Questionnaire

Your favorite virtue. Integrity      
Your favorite qualities in a man. Trustworthiness
Your favorite qualities in a woman.  Kindness     
Your chief characteristic.   Patience
What you dislike about your appearance. I don’t really think about it
What you appreciate the most in your friends.  Openness and vulnerability
Your main fault. Insecurity
Your greatest achievement. Being a mom
Your favourite occupation. Being an artist
Greatest extravagance.   Expensive yarn.
Your idea of happiness. Time alone to read a good book or do whatever I want quietly
Your idea of misery. Being in a crowded room or around too many people at once
Greatest fear. Dying young while my children are still young.
If not yourself, who would you be? A more secure version of myself.    
Where would you like to live?    In a cabin along a river, fly fishing, knitting, painting and reading good books.
Your favourite colour and flower. Green, Peonies           
My favorite bird. Ravens and crows        
Your favorite prose authors. Whoa, too many. I adore reading and I do it every day. My favorite novel is The Road by Cormac McCarthy because  it is the perfect love letter to one’s child and tribute to being a parent. Plus it is a gloriously dark and grisly post-apocalyptic tale.
Your favorite poets. Warsan Shire, Stanley Kunitz, Mary Oliver, Derek Wilcot, and Rumi
Your favorite heroes in fiction.   Owen Meaney, Robin Hood, Atticus Finch
Your favorite heroines in fiction. Jane Erye          
Your favorite painters. Jenny Saville, Matisse
Your heroes or heroines in real life. Anyone who conquers their fears or fights for the rights of others, animals included. Also, I’m madly in love with Virginia Woolf.
Your favorite food and drink.      Cinnamon buns and hot chocolate
Your favorite names. Penelope
What I hate the most.    People who judge and hurt other people and animals
The natural talent I'd like to be gifted with. The ability to sing       
How I wish to die. Old, happy and surrounded by loved ones
What is your present state of mind. Curious       
For what fault have you most toleration? Moodiness and sadness
Your favorite motto.       It’s not really a motto but my favorite quote is by Virginia Woolf, “Fear not, says the heart”. I also carry with me at all times a poem by Stanley Kunitz which says, " The heart breaks and breaks and lives by breaking. It is necessary to go through dark and deeper dark and not to turn."
Favorite journey. The French Alps. I’d still like to visit Scotland and Ireland.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Ondine, Bathing Herself

"I am a lover without a lover
I am lovely and lonely and
I belong deeply to myself."
Warsan Shire

"Ondine, Bathing Herself"
30" x 30" 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Monoprinting On Gelatin

Have you ever tried monoprinting on gelatin? I just did, and wow! Was that ever addicting. After my first session, I was so excited by the endless possibilities, that I couldn't even sleep that night. 

I opted for making my own gelatin print plates, which have turned out to be surprisingly durable. Here's the recipe:

3 cups boiling water
3 cups glycerin (this will plasticize your gelatin, making it permanent)
12 Tbsp gelatin (or 14 packets)

Mix the glycerin and gelatin well. Add the boiling water and continue to mix. Pour the mixture into a 9" x 13" pan. Allow to cool and set. I made mine the night before I needed them.

Gelatin plates cooling and setting.

I decided to just play around with creating a cool stack of papers. This one was my favorite.

And then I sat around wondering what to do with my giant stack of papers. I decided to make some collages, greeting cards, and notebooks.

Coptic Bound Notebook
Hand Printed Papers
30 pages
4" x 5"

And then...THEN... my oldest son wandered out to the studio to try it out. I was so impressed with the images he captured that I wanted to share them with you. Raine has been meticulously working on a graphic novel for the past year and he wanted to print images for the covers of each chapter in his book. I really love how these are turning out, and I can't wait to get back into my studio with him to see more of his work.

You can see more of Raine's work and follow the progress of his graphic novel "Primordial" by liking Rainey Day Comics at

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Bad Wolf

"A single glance: a sudden
dart of pain stitching her
eyes before she
made a sound."

Stanley Kunitz

"Becoming The Bad Wolf"
30" x 30"
acrylic and grease pencil on wood.

Click on this link to watch a time lapse video of this painting being created.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The C-word

Ah yes. The "C" word: censorship. It happens to me all the time. For some reason, even respected art galleries think it is appropriate to censor the celebration of women. Or at least, that's how I see it. I paint naked women; strong, courageous, perfectly imperfect, naked women. I celebrate women. Time and time again I am told I cannot hang my art in a gallery, lest I offend family sensibilities.  And it happened again last week.

Really? Women's bodies create children, nourish children, and protect children. How is this not family friendly? This culture of body shaming needs to end. Women deserve to openly breastfeed. Women deserve to feel beautiful no matter their size. Women have the right to wear the clothes they want without being blamed for their rape. Women have the right to bear children, or not. They have the right to be celebrated.

Every time my art is censored, be it an art gallery, a newspaper or facebook, I feel like the celebration of women is being censored. So let's celebrate! Send this blog far and wide if you agree.

"The Fishing Partner"

"Tragedy of the G-String"

"The Vagina Warrior" No. 2

"Size: Laughter"