March 7th, 2011
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Recently a friend said to me after looking at some of my new work, “You know, less is really more.” I wasn’t sure how to take that remark. I know the saying and sometimes think I should apply it to my life. I tend to be a “go big or go home” kind of person. If one is good then a dozen is so much better. If I love to go to a new restaurant, then I want to go there every week. If a pair of shoes looks great in red, then, I want them in every color. Lately we have been renovating our home. We are trying to keep things on a small scale so as to make the environment balanced. Balance has always eluded me. I work out every day at a heightened pace, or, not at all. I am either on a strict diet or I eat with reckless abandon. I am not good at balance.
So, how does this apply to my art? My art is definitely bold. It screams of pattern and color. My favorite artists are Matisse and Klimt and Van Gogh. They are known for color, pattern and repetition of lines and shapes. In my art I implement the same principles. To me, the negative space is boring if it is not filled with shapes and lines. The more color the better. There is not “quiet space” in the composition. That is why I don’t just paint. To me, every space needs to have something going on in it. I choose to add texture by adding collage in the mix. When that isn’t enough, I sew. It is just what I do and I like it. Sometimes I love it.
The subject of yesterday’s sermon was living in a safe place. Rev. Shirley Hutchins discussed keeping things at arm’s length so as not to take risks. She talked of her sister’s cherished dishes inherited from their mother. Her sister does not use them but keeps them in a safe place so they can’t be broken. The plastic seat covers on her family car caused the upholstery to outlive the car. With that philosophy, her family never really got to enjoy the use of those cherished items. Do you keep things in a safe place? Shirley suggests that we live extravagantly and risk everything so that we live life fully. Be generous in our daily life. Help others. Love God. Be grateful for the bounty of our world. I couldn’t agree more.
So, having thought about my friend’s suggestion that “less is more,” I respectfully reject that notion. I plan to continue to fill my work with my celebration of life. I don’t apologize for my exuberance. With that in mind, here is a painting that celebrates the coming of spring. It is called “Spring is in the Air”. I hope that you like it. I do.
February 9th, 2011
A tribute to my grandmother
Monday is Valentine’s Day. It is the time of year when we think of love. We buy cards and candy to tell those we love what they mean to us. This Sunday’s sermon was called “No Strings Attached” delivered by our minister Larry Kent. He discussed the new movie by the same name that is currently #1 at the box office. It’s premise is a relationship between two “friends with benefits” and their lack of a desire for any meaningful relationship. Rev. Kent further discussed how sometimes it is easier to keep your distance instead of forging a relationship and making a commitment. Sometimes do you find yourself sending an email instead of picking up a phone? I do. Email allows distance instead of making a commitment of time to actually speak to someone. It is convenient. Sometimes we get so busy that we do what is convenient and skip the things that further cement our relationships with others. The same can be true for our relationship with God. Do we have a string attached at all times, or, only when it is convenient?
A long time ago I heard the former president of Miami University speak, Dr. Phil Shriver. He said that when we graduated from Miami there would always be an invisible red string attached to us, holding us forever connected to our alma mater. The red string of fate, also referred to as the red thread of destiny, red thread of fate, and other variants, is an East Asian belief originating from Chinese legend and is also used in Japanese legend. According to this myth, the gods tie an invisible red string around the ankles of men and women who are destined to be soul mates and will one day marry each other.
Valentine’s Day is a day to make a commitment to hold a little tighter to those we love and honor those we love who are no longer with us. With that in mind, I created this painting as a tribute to my grandmother, Nana. She was an amazing woman with great strength and grace. I spent many hours by her side, baking cookies and helping her tend her roses. She was always there for me with her support and unwavering love. One of my most treasured possessions is her teacup collection. In this painting are a couple of her teacups and her silver tea service. If you look closely at the silver tea service you will see photo transfers of my grandmother and some of her friends on the shore of Lake Erie when she was a young woman. Nana’s favorite color was pink. She LOVED pink and she used it wherever she could in her home. (She also wore it long before it was fashionable). I hope this painting pays homage to some of the things she prized. It was created with the kind of love that she nurtured in me.
With the spirit of Valentine’s Day in mind, keep those strings attached!
January 26th, 2011
Join us at Final Friday at the Pendleton Art Center in Studio #315 this Friday and Saturday. Come in out of the cold for some Valentine’s Day treats! Mark and I both have new work that we are eager to share with you. We will be there from 6-10PM Friday and 11-2 on Saturday.
January 6th, 2011
Don’t tell anyone, but, my favorite Christmas gift was given to me by my niece Marisa. It is a 2 oz. jar of moisturizer called “Hope in a Jar” made by Philosophy and made popular on Oprah’s “Favorite Things” show. I like it not only because it is a creamy treat for your face and is sure to remove years of sun damage in a single application, but, I love the idea behind the name. From a marketing point of view it is a brilliant name. It stands out from the rest of the millions of face creams with a name that is both unique but also simple. Who could resist buying HOPE in a jar?
HOPE is to look forward to something with confidence. It is also one of the three main elements of Christian character (along with faith and love). It is the antonym of fear or despair. Synonyms include: anticipation, expectation, faith, optimism, promise, prospect, and wish.
I have just completed the best few months of my artistic career in terms of sales. That is shocking to me. This economy is a difficult one, at best. When people don’t have much discretionary income, art is not the first thing they buy. It falls short on the list of necessities. However, I have sold more pieces the last few months than ever before. When I ask myself why this is the case, I think it is because I am selling “Hope in a Jar” too. My work is uncomplicated and bright. It stands out from other work because it is different in media and process. Mainly though, it is unapologetically OPTIMISTIC. Once when I was criticized by another artist for my “Polyanna” outlook I told him, ” I will not ever apologize for my enthusiasm.” When faced with hard times it is my opinion that we need something hopeful to look at; something to lift our spirits; something to inspire confidence. Maybe in times of need art IS the first thing we should buy.
As I anticipate the new year that holds so much promise, I am so grateful for the opportunity to display my work and have people enjoy it. I am grateful to the stores and galleries that have confidence in me and took a leap of faith with me. I am grateful to the Pendleton and all of my fellow artists from whom I have learned so much. I am grateful to my friends who support me and pick me up when I am overwhelmed. I am grateful to Mark who gives me the freedom to follow my dreams. My resolution is to continue my quest to bring optimism and my point of view to the canvas.
December 14th, 2010
Pendleton Final Friday is this week-December 17th. I posted that notice on my Facebook page yesterday and a friend replied- “What day is Final Friday”? So, let me be perfectly clear-Final Friday is THIS FRIDAY at the Pendleton Art Center from 6-10 PM in downtown Cincinnati. Valet parking is available. People tease the PAC artists because of the inexpensive boxed wines that are served for the typical Final Friday open studios. Well, think about it, if you were serving 500-800 of your closest friends in hopes of luring them into your studio to see your art, you would serve wine, right? However, you wouldn’t serve the good stuff month after month-that would not be fiscally responsible. However-that being said, this month is special in STUDIO #315. We will be serving a great selection of wine and food this month! There will be appetizers, good wine, and until they are gone-special iced sugar cookies that are soooo good! Mark and my BFF Cathy are throwing a birthday bash for me. When asked where I wanted my birthday celebration to be held, I decided what better place to hold such an event than our studio at PAC. It is large and I won’t have to clean the house. I won’t worry if someone spills something on the floor and there is a huge bar. Plus, I love being surrounded by art. Also, if a guest gets bored, they can go look at someone else’s work. Perfect!!!
To add to the mix, Mark has recently installed the coolest dartboard cabinet ever. It is 86″ high and made from reclaimed shutters and wood. You have to see it. There is just enough of the old paint left on it so give it a red finish. On a normal Final Friday there would be room for a game of darts.. I doubt if that would be a good idea this week. Add to that, SARA PEARCE will be in the studio debuting her new greeting cards for sale. This is the first time Sara has shown these images to the public. They are beautiful embellished recreations of vintage cards. You will want one or a dozen!
SO, please feel free to crash my birthday bash! We would love to see you. Studio #315; and, did I mention, it’s on FRIDAY?
December 9th, 2010
I am pleased to announce that The Cincinnati Zoo and I are partners in a new venture! A silent auction and luncheon in the spring will raise funds for the zoo as well as raise awareness for the botanical gardens. (Did you know there are only two in the state of Ohio?) My painting-yet to be executed- will be the spotlight item in the auction. This painting will also adorn the front of the invitation to the ”Tiptoe Through the Tulips” fundraising luncheon which will take place April 14, 2011. That day will also feature several events for attendees as well as treat visitors to a display of my work.
This partnership is going to be such fun. Both Valerie and Allison are enthusiastic and very helpful. With subjects like the tulip gardens and lions, tigers & manatees, how can this NOT be fun?!? I will keep you posted on the painting’s progress. It’s going to liven up January for me!!! Oh my!
December 8th, 2010
Have you heard about The Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act? It is a bill that is pending that is supposed to protect fashion designers from knockoffs. Sounds good, right? Fashion has not ever been protected by copyright law due to its utilitarian nature. A sculpture is protected. If you add wire and a light bulb to the sculpture, it isn’t because it is then deemed a functional lamp. It is time for fashion designers to be protected. The question is, who will decide? Isaac or Tim? There is a fine line between drawing inspiration from the past and copying a design. We all know that “there isn’t anything new under the sun”, or so King Solomon said. The challenge is to find a new slant on the best work of the past. It isn’t to blatantly rip off the work of other designers.
In this difficult economy it is desirable to spend less on gifts for the holidays. Of course, a coupon is nice here and there, as is a big sale. The big “box” stores are offering lots of sales and promotions. Some were even open at 3AM on Black Friday. What I ask you to consider this year is for you to try to give a few gifts that come from artists and designers who are selling their own truly original art. Either shop at one of the many locally owned boutiques (The Fig Leaf, Indigenous, The Century House) or attend an art show like Final Friday at the Pendleton. Buy real art from the artists who created it. Say no to knockoffs and yes to creativity. SHOP LOCAL!
November 18th, 2010
Mark and I hope that you will join us for Final Friday this month! It is November the 26th from 6-10 PM. As always, there will be plenty of wine and snacks and valet parking available. Plan to visit Studio #315. Last month boasted over 1,000 visitors. This month promises to equally great! Come to visit and do some holiday shopping. Shop Local!
Reminder- the “Final Friday” in December is December 17th. (We doubt that you would want to come to PAC for New Year’s Eve or Christmas eve!) Plan to come to #315 that night for a great time and some birthday cake!
November 9th, 2010
The other day I was parking my car when I was told “Don’t park there. You’ll need to make room.” They didn’t say what to make room for, just make room. I wondered, for what, a delivery, an ambulance, someone more important than I? That has been nagging at me; that comment. Sometimes we all need to make a little room. We need to de-clutter our thoughts and pull back to make room for the big picture. It is hard in day to day life to zoom out, as Photoshop would put it, and look at things from a different perspective. We get so caught up in details and clutter. Yesterday I was thinking about how excessively tired I was and that I am suffering from a cold. Then I talked to a friend who has fought a huge battle with breast cancer, and now, she has to have another surgery. I thought immediately how blessed I am and felt ashamed for complaining about a little head cold. I was getting my hair cut and my hair dresser talked about how lonely she is lately. She doesn’t have a significant person in her life right now. I had been thinking how much I don’t feel like cooking the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Now I feel so blessed to have a family to cook it for, no matter the amount of work and cost. It’s time to zoom out and look at things from a wider lens. We all have such blessings in our lives. Let’s count them and forget the details.
October 27th, 2010
Sunday’s performance of “Mahler Unplugged” was emotional and inspiring for me. I had forgotten how much I loved the symphony. Guest violinist Chee-Yun is as nice as she is talented. Her addition to the symphony provided listeners with a rare treat.
I was impressed with the warm welcome that I received from the volunteers who were there to greet us. Before the show and at intermission (or half-time as I unfortunately called it) I was in the lobby to sign tote bags and greet people. My painting was on display during the performance and its image was used for the posters that are pictured as well as tote bags. (The proceeds of the bag sales are for arts education. Now that is a cause that is near and dear to my heart.) Hayley Savage was also posted in the lobby to sell “Musical Minis” which are based on the original painting.
Thank you to the symphony for making me feel so welcome. Also thanks for re-awakening my love of classical music. I am honored to be a part of such an amazingly talented group of individuals.