Friday, August 24, 2007

This little thing we got going

....a little backstory....
This past Tuesday night, Rob and I went to Northampton. We didn't roam the whole town, but managed to hit the important spots - the used book store and music store - and dinner that was uber-yummy, of course. Anyway, this bookstore has a fabulous Art section and I swear I could spend sooooooo much money there. I'd love to have a library filled with art books - and books on mysticism, history, anthropology, poetry - oh heck, i just want a library in my house. They had one book that was gorgeous - it came in a protective shell and it was about Miro. It was originally $150 and in perfect condition - $65. Couldn't splurge, but I savored every page my eyes could absorb. Instead, I found an $8 paperback on Helen Frankenthaler's prints from the 60-70's and a little collection of poetry by Sylvia Plath. Intensity Station all aboard! Choo choo!

Raw. Honest. Women that took risks in their Art.

I have been inspired.

So reading thru the H.F. book, she is quoted throughout about her work and process. Everything she talks about I can connect to - not to say I am always reaching that perfect zen place - but I know of it and strive to connect deeper to that place as I grow as a painter. She doesn't get very intellectual about her work and she sees no need to do so - it isn't what it's about. She is a painter of feelings and impressions, dreams and visions, rather than intellectual statements, solid and firm. She talks more about the intuitive process, taking risks, never getting too comfortable with familiar patterns or choices. Working until it works for YOU as the creator, and yes, that is enough to say a work is finished.

The more esoteric writing on Helen's work was quoted from a variety of sources - critics, curators, high profile friends and alliances, and a biographer. I felt so connected to her story until this part. The part where gallery shows, connections, oh why not come out and say it, FAME comes into the picture... in the art sense of the word. Obviously it was Jackson that made the cover of Life magazine, not Helen, but still, she is KNOWN all over the world.

I bring this all up because it got me wondering about all of us choosing to go our own way selling online instead of or alongside showing in galleries. I see the journey many of us are on as a new course and no one among us knows where it will lead us. There are artists that have been selling online for years, making a living from it, and never, or rarely show in galleries. Of course, most of us juggle a little of both, but I seem to see a trend of two seperate worlds going on. There is the art scene still happening from high society circles and art schools to galleries and there is the art scene happening in the "streets" - only the streets are now the lines of communication we have through these glowing boxes we spend so much time in front of (but thank goodness for them, seriously). I know there are a lot of real, good people who didn't buy their way into art fame - they earned it. But this path we chose is different.

I think it's saying...

I am declaring that this is what I want to do. I'm going to put myself and what I have to offer right now out there for anyone to take, and if you do, I will learn from it, and if you don't, I will learen from it. Either way, I'm still going to be an artist.

Rather than fighting to get noticed by a very limited and focused spotlight, we put ourselves out there for the masses to decide. Not a curator, or a panel of judges - our fellow folks out there that will or won't like your art but they won't know unless they SEE IT. Right?

Ok. I'll get off my paint splattered step ladder now.

I really wasn't preaching, just thinking out loud as I usually do. In circles. As I usually do.


Fame has been on my mind a lot lately. Because I am finally deconstructing it and seeing it for what it is and realizing that it isn't what I want or should be going for. I have humbly said "who me?" haha and blushed but man, I've thought about it, let's be honest. I've been aware of famous people in music, films, art, books, everything since the get go. I remember those names, I know more about celebrities than I care to admit. I'd like to say I memorized classic poetry when I was young - I didn't, I memorized every line to A Room With A View and the lyrics of popular music... .don't ask me why. I was into fame as a kid, then into an alternative version of it as a young adult (the ins and outs of dankster musicians from A to Z,,,,oy) and now at 30 when I see someone who is younger than me and very "successful" (ie has the spotlight) there is jealousy. I spot it and now I'm doing all I can to break it down and walk over it's remains. I don't want that shit. I don't want to envy every young person that gets noticed for their talent. That's something someone else did for my whole life, and I don't want to repeat it. That's why I need to examine this idea of creative success. Is it being in a magazine or a tv show or a high profile gallery? It could be, but is it for me? That's what I've been asking.... and asking.

What do I really want?

I know that things will happen whether I make a choice or not. But there is a lot one can do when one is focused, and this wish washy vague understanding of "I just want to make art" isn't enough anymore. What do I want to accomplish with my art? What do I want for myself and my family, and what goals do I need to set in motion to accomplish these things? What is my PURPOSE?????

Life will happen one way or another, the question is, do I have an answer?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Let's Go Etsy!

Enthusiasm In Motion - Original painting and archival prints available at

I had a productive day today. Every day I wake up I want the sort of energy I had today. The go get 'em, multi tasking, devouring of work from when I wake till I can't see straight attitude that either creates a great painting day, or a great marketing day.

Today was a marketing day. I listed so much on Etsy. I know it's best to space it out but when I'm actually inspired to attack my Etsy store I've got to ride that wave until it fades away. When I can get into and enjoy that part of my "job" I like to get as much accomplished as possible because tomorrow I could wake up and only want to paint. And that can stick for a week.

Considering I haven't gotten into a real painting spell (I am in a studio transition at the moment) I hope I have another day like today tomorrow. And maybe I can finally get to redesigning my website.... hmmm we shall see...

Until then, hope all is well!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I'm still going to call it Great Woods

Yesterday my best bud Emily and I went to Great Woods (which is now called the Tweeter Center, but I'm sticking with the old and in my book, REAL name of this outdoor venue in MA) to a music festival that included such bands as Wolf Parade, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Modest Mouse, Guster and others. It was a blast. It's been a while since I've been to a big show like that and we had a great time. Love you lady and thanks for making this happen!! xoxo

PS - Tweeter Center - you need to chill a little with your security. We got checked for our IDs at random just walking around (yes, after you're already checked when you buy a beer) and we're both 30. If you want to do something to protect people from drinking too much, pay a little more attention to the teenagers boozing it up in the parking lot not two responsible adults just walking around with a beer we paid eight bucks for. Other than that, thanks for a good time, Tweeter - I mean Great Woods.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Woo Hoo!

We got our permits ladies and gents. All systems are go!

I was just starting to create plan C when we got the letter in the mail. I am so happy. Thanks for all those crossed fingers!

Alexandra Svoboda

WARNING: The link below has a disturbing photograph, so if you are of the faint of heart or a child is nearby, do not click on this link.

For an article about this without a graphic image, you can go here..

all we are saying
is give peace a chance

This is ridiculous. A sweet young girl peacefully marching gets beaten and her leg nearly ripped off of her body. I pray for her recovery. I also pray that this story will not be lost or forgotten. I am sick of the abuse of power we see everywhere around us.

I'm writing about this here because I can.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Riding The Wave

Riding The Wave - print and original painting available at

I've been adding a lot of prints to my shop the last few days. Some are reproductions of my paintings (like this piece) and others are illustrations created with Illustrator.

ALSO! Someone on Etsy posted in the message boards about this site. Click on the orange button that says HELP FEED THE HUNGRY and (from the website) "Your click helps feed the hungry with the value of 1.1 cups of staple food."

Friday, August 03, 2007

Fingers Crossed!

Good day, friends! This is the view looking out my kitchen window to the backyard. As you can see, we've got a good amount of woods in the back and that goes down a slope behind the shed. There is a street at the bottom of our property, then across the street there is a large chunk of wooded, undeveloped land... (I so hope it stays that way, but you never know). Anyway, all of this matters because if all goes well (and here is where the title of this post comes in) this will be the location of my new studio! Our neighbor is taking the shed that's there, and in that spot, we are hoping to put a 12 x 28 structure. Like everything in life, obviously you've got to take one step at a time, but yesterday Rob and I did a quick step jump through all the hoops we could to get moving on this.

Let me back track for a moment to say this is an idea that's been in the works for a long time. We have met with a builder and got the high quote we were expecting. We've researched other manufacturers of garden sheds, gazebos, etc. online. After going round and round, we took the drive down the hill LESS THAN A MILE AWAY FROM OUR HOUSE to Klotter Farms. It's hilarious - we must go round and round in circles to figure out we wanted to go with the first choice after all. Anyway, we met with someone that helped us pick out each feature of our structure. For a general idea of what this is going to be, click on this link and look at the top picture. On the left side, we picked out that same screened in porch. On the right side, the building part of it is going to be a little larger - 12 x 16, and it's all maxed out with extra goodies. There is a skylight, two windows on the side, three windows in the back and a sliding glass door to the porch area, and it comes pre-wired for electricity. Since we custom designed the structure, it takes 6 weeks to complete. But first we need to be sure we can get all of our permits for it. We bounced around from office to office yesterday, fill out a form, write a check, hop in the car, repeat. The last office we made in the last ten minutes they were open. The woman said "you've got ten minutes and counting. the office closes at 4:30". Pens were flying! And we made it just in time.

So now we wait....... I think it's 2-3 weeks till we find out. As soon as we get the good news (I'm keeping the positive thoughts going here) we'll get the building started so ideally this is going to take 9 weeks. Of course I'm like "gimme! gimme! NOW!" but good things come to those who wait, so I will be a good little patient girl and wait. tap tap tap tap tap -

I was sitting here daydreaming about painting in the porch area on a crisp autumn day. And all of a sudden I thought, "my Grandmother would love this - I wish she could be there with me on that day...". She passed away when I was ten, but we were very close in those precious years of my life and she taught me how to paint. She was an amazing watercolor and oil painter. And she loved nature. One of my clearest memories of being with her was sitting in lawn chairs on the farm painting with watercolors. It was pure bliss - pure peace. I was spoiled from that day forward to crave recreating that feeling - I want to paint surrounded by peaceful nature.

There are so many reasons why this is going to be great for me, and for our family. That dream of painting with my grandmother, well, she'll be there when my mom (her daughter) and I carry on the tradition, enjoying a beautiful autumn day, the crisp breeze, the speckled sunlight through the brilliant trees. I am crossing my fingers that this picture will serve as a Before shot and that in about 9 weeks I'll have an After that will blow your mind! hahahhaa