Month: April 2013

Ex Libris

It’s finished…the sculpture that has been hanging over my head for a while.   It was, without a doubt, the most emotional creative process I have ever had, and I realized that it’s the first time that I have made something for my mother that she will never see.  (Although if I think about it, I’m sure she sees it wherever she is…and loves it.)

The art in my daily life on Friday was the look on dad’s face when he saw it for the first time.  He got this silly grin on his face and chuckled/giggled. On the elevator up to the second floor he said “It’s crazy…crazy good.” This is high praise from him. I know he really is tickled that the sculpture lives down the hall from him, and he is truly happy and proud to have named it…Ex Libris. Even though he really doesn’t remember asking me to make it last year, he is off and running with the sudden notoriety it is giving him in the retirement center. I’m pretty sure people are going to get really tired of hearing about it from him for he will have forgotten who he’s told. But it is giving him some happiness in the last years of his life.

That is what art is about.

me and my dad
me and my dad


For more images of Ex Libris, go to my website.



Every day my school bus would pass this field on the Salmon Kill Rd. I can remember feeling so happy when I saw all the daffodils every spring.  I couldn’t resist taking this picture yesterday.  It still makes me happy 40 years later.



I’m done, I’m cooked, stick a fork in me…I have no words, no inspiration, I’ve been working so hard on getting this #@&*ing sculpture done (no I don’t always feel like this) before I go off to the wilds of CT and install it in its final home.  Pictures will be forthcoming (probably on my website blog Studio Chatter).

For now, let me leave you with a link to my brother’s blog (it’s all in the family night tonight).  He’s starting off on an adventure that few would even consider doing when looking at their 60’s…buying a farm.  Hmmm.  Yes, his sanity is suspect but that’s a post for another day.  In the meantime, check it out and follow along with him as he learns all the ins and outs of buying and maintaining a farm.

The art of the mess

The other day a photographer from Australia posted on her blog about an artist I had never heard of…Margaret Olley.  I enjoyed looking through the pictures of her paintings, and I invite you to take a stroll through the gallery on Leanne’s post:

The reason I bring this up is that I was struck by the picture of Ms. Olley’s living room.  It is quite dramatically cluttered (no, she was not a hoarder, but she was on the brink).  My first impulse was to say…”Hey, now I don’t feel so bad, my place isn’t anywhere near as cluttered as that”.  But the more I thought about it, the more I started wondering how it is that my clutter never looks as artistic as Margaret Olley’s.  It’s obvious that she lived amongst her art, from the colors in her living room, to the objects strewn about that made their way into her paintings.  My fantasy is that she didn’t care whether anyone judged her for her messy room, it just pleased her to have everything at hand that she might need for her creative expression.

So I went around my studio today, taking pictures of my mess.  Yes, as I have mentioned in a previous post, I am messy.  Especially when I am creating.  I feel like the clutter is somewhat organic and ebbs and flows on a daily basis.  Some days I think it’s alive and starts moving across the room on its own.  Sometimes I find the space I can work with diminishes rapidly.  I suppose that I should work harder on not caring how it looks, but I know that it is sometimes easier to create when everything (including me) is in its right place.  It’s also nice to be able to walk across the floor without stepping on something or leaping over a pile of books.

But for now I thought I would humble myself and show some pictures of an artist at work.  The art comes form the cropping of the picture…and, yes, from the cat.  Cats bring a slice of art to everything they do.  Even sleeping on a shelf full of fabric.

I show you these with my head held high (uh huh) and hope you enjoy a peek at my life…



Take a walk with me

the rain
the blooms
the green grass
the sounds of my neighbors’ mowers starting up for the first time one by one.

If you’re not tired of seeing spring pictures (blooming flowers and such) take a walk with me through my garden.

First, we must say goodbye to the blooms of the witch hazel.  It was really beautiful this year, lots of orange/rust/red blooms that lasted for a month.  It is right outside my door, so I get to see it as I go about my day.

The end of the witch-hazel
The end of the witch-hazel

Behind the witch-hazel is a weeping redbud.  I did not intend to have the weeping kind, but my ignorance led me right to it and now it is safely ensconced in my garden.  It is just starting its blooming cycle, but it looks awesome against the yellow of the forsythia.

early redbud
early redbud

Walking to the front of my house, there’s a beautiful Yoshino cherry that always takes my breath away every year.  I am guessing it was planted several decades ago and is enormous.  I stood under it and was grateful when my neighbor turned off his lawnmower, for I could hear the drone of the bees in the tree.  It might be my imagination but I have never seen such large bumblebees!  If you look carefully at the second picture, you can see the bees flying around the tree.

 yoshino cherry tree
yoshino cherry tree
up to the sky
up to the sky

Right next to the Yoshino is a Kwanza cherry tree, another oldie but goodie.  I am blessed to have the treasure of someone else’s plantings.  I keep that in mind when I am planting, I may not see the full beauty of the garden, but someone will some day.  And I hope they thank me for it just like I am thanking the unknown person who planted these trees.

kwanzan cherry tree
kwanzan cherry tree

And finally, my ambivalence shows with this final picture.  The same someone who planted a line of pine and maple trees to block the view of the neighbors also decided that forsythia would be a great hedge.  There must have been a deal on forsythia at the garden center.  It is EVERYWHERE and all in a line.  This is the only time of year that I like forsythia.  Otherwise, I find it messy, out of control and generally ugly.  But here is a picture of why I like it.


A funny thing happened on the way to the…

This posting rated R for taking the Lord’s name in vain…if this will bother you, don’t read it.  Otherwise, enjoy the story!

When I was growing up, my family was just a little crazy and very dysfunctional. (I dare you to show me a family who isn’t.)  I have done lots of work throughout my life to find ways to overcome the weirdness. The good news is that humor was used as a release and a therapy, we enjoyed making each other laugh. In fact, there are very few people who can cause me to laugh until I cry…and I am related to most of them.  This story is for my family who perfected the art of laughter.

It should be said that I am a telephone-a-holic.  I have always loved talking on the phone.  And when the opportunity came about to buy a new car, in this day and age of modern technology I chose the one with built in blue-tooth capabilities.  I really try not to use it very much but occasionally…well…

A few weeks ago I was driving in my car and needed to tell my husband something.  Being the instant gratification junky that I am, I pressed the button on my steering wheel and the female voice said “Command please”.

"command please"
“command please”

I replied “Call name”.

“Please enter the name”, said the voice.

"please enter the name"
“please enter the name”

At this point some complete idiot ahead of me swerved in front of another car nearly causing complete and utter mayhem on the road.  Without thinking, out of my mouth came the words…”Jesus Christ”.

After realizing that everything was really okay on the road and feeling my heart settling back into my chest, I heard the voice in my car say “Sorry, please enter the name”.

Needless to say, I was laughing so hard I had to press the cancel button and start again later.


Moral:  No matter how good technology gets, it still won’t be able to contact the son of God.