I love reading, reflecting, and learning new things. And often, I want to talk to other people about the thing I just learned. Folks have mixed responses to this, some humoring me, some genuinely interested, some really hoping I’ll get the hint and change the subject. Late last year I purchased Brene Brown‘s most recent book, “Braving the Wilderness.” It occurred to me that one way to have someone else to talk to about it would be to start a book group. So I did. We are only on the second chapter, but THIS GROUP IS AWESOME. SO smart. SO willing to share. SO personally invested in the material.
The decision to gather folks together was one of those quiet whispers that I could have ignored, or toyed with, but not followed through. But one small foot in front of the other, listening, and now some bit of magic is happening.
I was #inspired last week, and decided my website could use some #springcleaning (I know, #spring is just a pipe dream at this point here in #ithaca ). It’s got a new look and feel and I’m hoping its a little easier to find your way around.
I’m writing some periodic bog posts (Hey! This is one of them!) and a way to subscribe to that blog if that sort of thing interests you. It’s a pretty wide-ranging space for me. I spend a lot of time reading (books, news, blog posts) and writing. I’m interested in questions, ideas, connections between things, creating, designing, societal issues, social justice and some not always popular topics.
My website is the place to go if you want to sign up for my mostly monthly newsletter. In it I share some in-depth looks at my process, and let you know if I have any events going on.
And definitely the place to go to purchase a piece. My Square store is linked right off the site. I’d love for you to have some of my work in your home or office. I believe that art belongs everywhere, and I sell pieces in a variety of price ranges to help facilitate that.
This is where the magic happens. I’m lucky enough to work from a home studio. A layer can go down while breakfast is in the oven, and be dry for the next to lay down before lunch. I have big sheets of painted plywood covered over with clear plastic sheeting resting on top of my grandmother’s porcelain-top table. I have easels too, but I tend to work flat for almost everything that is 12×12″ or smaller. The paints, inks and mediums I use most often live on my table. The ones I use less frequently are tucked away in the #elfa drawers in the corner.
Working from home gives me a lot of flexibility and more time to work than I would have if commuting was part of my day. It means I can do as much or as little as works for me on any given day, and gives me a chance to be inspired while passing by. It also means more time with #marigolddog and #sadiecat .
I’m primarily an intuitive painter, so part of my work is about really showing up. I need to be present with the painting so that I can tune into the flow of color, balance, contrast, texture, movement, space, and density. Which means I have to be present with myself too. My regular meditation practice helps me clear my mind and develop focus. Writing helps me sort myself out, discover approaches and new connections between ideas. Paying attention to my body helps me manage my energy and make choices that best support my health.
I try to document my work for my own benefit, and so I can share. I take photographs as layers are laid down. And I document my choices in my art journal. And I believe it is a good thing to show your work.
I don’t remember a time in my life before making things. Any time when creativity and curiosity weren’t running the show.
A four year old’s wall drawing. Early Play-Doh projects (in which I always sorted the colors back out again carefully). Modeling clay creations. Fashion Plates combinations. Spin art. Chalkboard drawings. Solar Graphics experiments with objects on photo sensitive paper. I guess I just didn’t stop.
I earned a BFA from @alfreduniversity with a concentration in painting. I did a lot of figure painting with oils in those years, but also printmaking, ceramics, bookmaking, sound and video. After art school I found ways to adapt my style, my work, my content. Without access to large studio spaces or models. I stopped and started experiments over and over trying to figure out what it was for me to be an artist and maker.
All along, I was reading and thinking and writing. I started keeping a journal as a child, then sketchbooks, then something that combined the two. I still read and write and think every day. I spent over a decade as a professional problem-solver, analyst, process-designer, and manager. I loved it. I *love* information. I love reading. I love asking questions. I love thinking. I love finding connections between things. I love systems. That’s the me who comes to the studio when I create.
And then there’s this: I live with #chronicfatiguesyndrome. It is unpredictable. It can flatten me. It has left me energetically impaired every single day for five years. It has become a lens through which every part of my life is processed. And it was the unexpected launchpad that pushed me into a different relationship with my art – deciding to make art to share with others, instead of just art for myself. It allows me to show up every day exactly as I am. And send something out in the world that is beautiful, that gives a moment of pause, that provides a space to get lost in, that brings joy or contemplation.