Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Four Corners of Strength

It is complete! and I am feeling happy. It is appropriate that this tribute to Love, Belief, Support and Friendship comes on the heels of what has been a very challenging year for me. I can't say that I'll be sorry to see 2010 go, but I will never forget it's lessons. And I will try to live my best life possible into 2011 and beyond, remembering the foundations that inner Strength is built upon. I feel incredibly blessed to have had people in my life, however permanent or transient they may be, to help me not only find my way, but also to shed light upon the questions, as well as the answers. In 2011, I  will pay more attention to my intuition. I will be kinder to myself and others. I will remember that it's important to smell the roses. I will work hard to be able to do what I really want to do, and earnestly attempt to stop doing that which does not serve me in my life. I will continue to take care of my body, and find better ways to strengthen my heart & soul. I will ask more questions, and listen longer. I will dance and play air guitar to all my awesome c.d.'s. I will make my house a colorful, comfortable and welcome home. I will start scrap-booking again. I will find a way to display my post card collection. I will research how to market my artwork, and how to publish my poetry. I will pray to stay connected to the creative source within me, and set aside time to cultivate that inner quietness so necessary for revelations and internal knowing. I will cast aside doubt & fear. I will not fall back into old habits. I will love wholeheartedly. I will trust in my power. I will make no compromises.

Love- "Your genuine affection is a catalyst, opening the door of possibility. Your light shines on all that is good & true- inside and outside of me. It rekindles courage in my heart, and helps me embrace life again. Thank you for sharing your love."

Belief- "Encouragement and humor are the gifts you so selflessly give. Your belief in me came like a thousand brilliant stars, illuminating the way, and allowed me to visualize beginning again."

Support- "You are my refuge and your constancy helps me rebuild my life. I feel secure in my decisions and can move forwrad, trusting myself once again. Your support reinforces all that I can do."

Friendship- "Validating my feelings and reminding me of hope, your winning attitude is mirrored in my soul. You help me find the truth through my emotions. In times of trouble and joy, you are always my ally. Your friendship is a blessing."
There's so many projects that I have in store for this coming year! I can't wait to share them here. I can't believe it has been a year since I launched coffee table blog. It has, if nothing else, been a wonderful tool to help me keep it real with myself, especially concerning all my creative endeavors. And for that alone, I can call it a success! 

Patience-Purpose-Energy....being open to Opportunity. This is my wish for 2011.
Merry Christmas Everyone, and a Joyful New year!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Heart of it All

Despite the glare, you can get the idea. Still need to add Support and Friendship on the bottom and treasure chest illustration. Plus, words for each corner. Almost there. This week is supposed to be killer cold each night, and my new little space heater is not really  making a difference. So, gloves and hat it will be.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Some more

More on the 4X4 this past weekend. I'm getting happy people! Though the absolute freezing freaking COLD is deterring me from painting (because it's in the garage). I checked the weather site and it will continue to be this cold all week. Painting with gloves on is not the greatest, but I will have to do it I guess.

 So, I really like the way the wood grain is showing through now. It adds a texture to this piece that is unexpected, but I think because of it's size, it's ok- it kinda adds another dimension to it. What is annoying however, is hitting one of those ridges with the paint brush unexpectedly- and all of a sudden I've got a bump or a bulge that I wasn't ready for, and that needs correcting. The other REALLY annoying thing is how I cannot seem to position my photos on this blog the way that I want to!!!! Which is why you hafta scroll down to see the rest. I guess I get an "F" in the layout. But seriously, if you can help me out here, I'd really appreciate it!
These funky ladies are my favorites so far. They are definitely mermaid legends, rockin' in the under sea world, instinctively steering clear of  Captain Hook and his Jolly Rogers - but always on the lookout for Peter Pan.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The End is Near.....

of this year, which I can't believe. When I came back to post my progress on this painting, and saw that the last post was in OCTOBER! well time flies I guess, whether you're having fun or not. I want to get this painting done in the next few weeks. I'm hoping for a Christmas present to myself. The incorporation of words still haunts me - I still have concerns about the most effective technique -so, I have only just begun to get the theme words in the two upper  corners. In this first photo, I elected to get rid of the door, and instead created sky and a butterfly, and the first corner word "Love".

On the other side of Love lies Belief, and you can barely see the word painted in. Gotta get some highlights on the letters, but the actual color is perfect for the planet and outer-space scene. And oh yeah, the dolphins are a new addition too, though admittedly, it was not too fun painting them....maybe I just prefer painting mermaids.

I included this last one just to show the detail of shells in the sand. The trouble I'm encountering with a painting of this size is balancing my desire to get into the details of my objects, but also needing them to be big enough for the viewer to appreciate. Everything kinda melds together if there's too many small things on a big painting; especially if the small things are laden with detail, KWIM? But all of those elements ARE attractive to me- my goal is finding a way to incorporate them cohesively and aesthetically. I think this is why I'm dragging my feet on adding the words-But I will!

It's getting really cold painting in the garage is becoming less and less attractive. And I certainly don't want this or any of my work out there when snow comes, so there's an incentive right there. The way it's been going the last few years, we'll probably get snow soon.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Big Love

This is the 4X4 wood panel. Lots of progress this weekend, but I'm not done yet.
The photo doesn't really show the metallic paint in the tree canopy, and a lot of the color nuances get shot out...gotta get better at the art photography...any tips?

Thursday, September 30, 2010


I did these three greenie quickies last weekend. I had started the ladybug awhile ago-just using markers. I decided to play with my metallic paint pens too, and added the silvery background to the bug.  So naturally, when it came to the mermaid, allot of metallic paint pen was called for. The girl was inspired from a magzine clipping. All three will be incorporated into a new mixed media piece...still in the brain stages.

Do you have an idea about how to use metallic paint or metallic paint pens? They leave shadows if you don't follow the stroke exactly the same in the portion of design you are working on...kinda frustrating as they dry pretty quickly too. I love metallics and the paint pens seemed like a great way to apply. Any suggestions?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Flowers for my lovely

A few flowers for my angel. I did use the distress ink underneath, before I painted her in, and also after the paint dried. The flowers are hand painted acrylic, straight up. And I used an iridescent white for the wings. I like that the background shows through them. Now for some face details...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's Not Your Mother's Decoupage

Trying some new and interesting techniques on this one. I used distress ink on top of the entire tree canopy (my fingers look like I was just printed...) but the messiness was worth it. It's supposed to create an vintage look for photographs, but I read about using it on mixed media pieces. I think it gives the tree an aged look, but also adds to the textural feel of it overall. Also, cut papers and stamps of leaves to create a tree top that I really am happy with.

This is what I got, so far. The messenger figure is salvaged from a vintage birthday card, and I created my own paper cut-out hearts. The acorns are from a magazine photo - when I saw them, I immediately cut them out, as knew I would use them eventually in a mixed media piece -this was the perfect spot for them. I also drew the basic outline for my angel on the left, and am thinking about distressing the entire angel image with ink before I paint it in. A mermaid will be swooping in from the right from cresting waves, (you can faintly see her), but I have yet to insert that last image. The finishing touches will be the inspirational words throughout. They'll have to wait till last.

Phase Two: defining images...the support rocks, and waves and sand -done; tree of life almost done. I think I'll be inserting some more smaller circles, but use metallic paint...keep the Klimt feel going. And the tree trunk will be more stylized too. My art always feels much more 'successful' to me when it does not become too 'painter-ly'. Even though I love Renoir, I always relate much more to Klimt. Know what I mean?? Anyway, it's all about trees lately people! And words with art. It's going. It's a beginning.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Change Is Beginning

That is, something new and different starts when we start (something new and different). I also realized today, that change occurs when we all the real reasons for doing something outweigh all the real reasons for NOT doing something. Begin to Change = Change is Beginning.

4' X 4' with drawing......

Detail of 4' X 4' once I put the first color washings on. Very excited about this piece. Biggest I have ever attempted. It's fun! and my vision for the finished product are based on values that have been helping me through: the 4 corners of Strength - Love, Belief, Support and Friendship. I will keep posting till its done.

Much smaller, but just as fun. I really enjoy working in the collage style with cool scrap-booking papers. This one will combine many, and also use cut-outs from cards, magazines and printed photos. Throughout will be inspirational words, and there will  be hand painted elements too.

Keeping busy. Trying to create good, positive change; trying to work it all out, and express what's in my heart. Beginning.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Combining Words and Art

The following 'quickie' drawings I completed in July. They are exercises that  I've been doing for awhile now that combine my art and journaling; craftily  called "Raw Art Journaling" by Quinn at Quinn Creative. Please check out her sight for daily inspiration and beautiful artwork. Reading about what she does helped me to get my own feelings expressed in a way that was concise and quick - no Picasso or Neruda stuff going on here; just a simple way of expression that always

The one above was created from some thoughts I had from a post earlier on this January, I think, about inspiration.

This was created as a result of thoughts from some of my older journal writings, and extrapolating from thoughtful emails that I had both sent and received. The color version really popped for me, but.... I needed to see it in black & white too. I like both equally.

I think this one is my favorite. It is simple, with few colors and the stipple technique in the petals is just the ticket. The message is to myself , and I am still learning...learning to begin.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Night Flight & Sea's Delight, or How the Mermaids found their way....

Soul sparkin' goodness completed, the finishing seal applied, these girls rock in the undersea-world, and have friends on the other side....(who do I think I am? Freakin' Ed Hardy??)

I received a message from my brother across the water,
He sat laughin' as he wrote the end's in sight.
So I said goodbye to all my friends
and I packed my hopes inside a matchbox
'cause I know it's time to fly.
I jumped a train that never stops,
So now somehow I'll know I never finished payin' for my ride.
Just n' someone pushed a gun into my hand
Tell me I'm the type of man to fight the fight that I'll require....

We are in the middle of a change in destination,
When the train stops all together we will smile.
Fly now baby...Get to fly, yeah.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I saw a deer in the same marsh as heron, at the reservoir. Deer teaches us to use the power of gentleness to touch the hearts and minds of wounded beings who are trying to keep us from connecting with the Great Spirit. Like the dappling of fawn's coat, both the light and dark may be loved to create gentleness and safety for those who are seeking peace.

If deer has nudged it's way into your life, you are being asked to find the gentleness of spirit that heals all wounds. Stop pushing so hard to get others to change and love them as they are. Apply gentleness to your present situation and become like the summer breeze; warm and caring. This is the tool for solving the present dilemma you are facing. If you use it, you will connect with the sacred centering place inside yourself, and Great Spirit will guide you. Thanks Deer. Duly noted.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Paying Tribute to Great Blue Heron

What an incredible event to see a Great Blue Heron not once, not twice, but three times within a week!. Really. Once flying overhead (in a rainstorm, no less) when I was coming out of the YMCA, and then twice at the reservoir. Witnessing the flight of this beatuful beast has left me awe struck, inspired and very tuned into it's unique, and oh-so-relevant- message. Thank You Great Blue Heron, for flying into my life.

Heron medicine is the power of knowing the self by discovering its gifts and facing its challenges. It is the ability to accept all feelings and opinions without denying any emotion or thought. Heron flies over those who are unaware of who they are and where they belong in the world. Gently dropping a blue feather to them, Heron asks that they follow their intuition and begin the empowering journey of self-realization.

If the great Blue Heron has flown into your cards today, it is urging you to dive into the watery world of feelings to seek your truth. Heron teaches you to develop your self-reflective skills so that you may come to know yourself in an intimate way. Looking at yourself through the filmy lens of self-importance, the cloudy perceptions of low self-worth, or the myopic eyes of self-pity, you will never understand your true potential or appreciate the opportunities that appear.

Heron asks that you examine yourself with a cold eye to see what you wish to improve and how you want to change. If you get stuck in the process, it may be a sign that you are being too hard or critical. Choosing to blame others and constantly pointing a finger at life's situations, instead of claiming responsibility for your actions, shows that you lack the courage to face the enemy within.

Heron medicine people are willing to look at themselves and see the truth of their motives, actions, feelings, dreams, goals, inner strengths, and inner weaknesses. In balancing those truths, Heron's medicine shows you how to meet the challenges of your personal weaknesses and how to continue developing the skills that lead to inner strength and certainty of purpose.

Are you willing to dive into the watery depths of your own feelings and discover the role of your spiritual essence? Heron is now calling you to delve deeper, to know yourself, and to trust your path. Like the Phoenix, who rises from its own ashes, Heron emerges from the unseen worlds of spirit into a new balanced sense-of-self in order to embrace its potential again and again.

The magnificence of your human spirit lies waiting for the joy of discovery, if you are courageous enough to follow the Waterbird throughout the journey. Heron reminds you that every traveler on life's journey is a messenger, and that every destination is the beginning of a new life cycle on the Medicine Wheel.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Was You Ever Bit By A Dead Bee?

“How Little We Know”

                                     Maybe it happens this way, maybe we really belong together
But after all, how little we know
Maybe it's just for a day, love is as changeable as the weather
And after all, how little we know...
Maybe you're meant to be mine, maybe I'm only supposed
To stay in your arms awhile as others have done
Is this what I've waited for - Am I the one?
Oh, I hope in my heart that it's so
In spite of how little we know.

For all the persistent, yet hopeful  romantics out there who simply go ga-ga for a great old time movie. I finally watched "To Have and Have Not", and it was pretty darn good. Interesting story, decent script, and of course, that undeniable spark between Bogey and Bacall make the whole movie incredible. I got a special kick out of the scene when Slim gives Steve a playful smack in the face (HA!) after he finally kisses her, immediately followed by the comment about him needing a shave. I never knew about that scene... A classic, really. Here's to Steve & Slim. :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Great Book. Finished it in Two Days.

This is where I got the quote, that gave me the inspiration for the poem "Charisma". Totally awesome book, and totally relevant (to me, now) issues that it deals with. I never would have known about Haruki Marukami, if not for the poetry site...gotta love it.

“‘For a while’ is a phrase whose length can’t be measured. At least by the person who’s waiting.”- Haruki Murakami, South of the Border, West of the Sun.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Art Journaling

Many of the blogs I regularly read feature art journaling -  combining written thoughts with visual thought. It is such a wonderful means of expression, and one that I have been trying to create for myself for a long time. Each poem has a 'picture'...each painting has a verse, but I have only been able to technically combine the two when I do journal covers or mixed media art. Since I've seen so much simple beauty in art journaling, I decide to give it a whirl. The pieces here were created with my journal thought is mind...some old, some new, but  I really enjoy this type of expression.

Last December, I set out to meet strangers of an art community with my artwork . I was doing this to meet creative folks, and to try and find a way back into a creative community, as well as to fill some perceived void I had been experiencing. But, once I got there, (after getting lost and being late), I realized that not only was I not ready to put myself and my artwork 'out there', but also that meeting the group was not quite as important as I thought. After deciding not to go in, and forgiving myself for it,  I was overwhelmed with a sense -  a need -  to get home. Realizing how 'ok' my life was ; how I tended to take for granted all the 'little' things of my daily life, but how they really were my life at the moment, struck me deeply. The above 'quilt' illustration above was a quick way for me to put a visual, to these words: "Time to say "ah, so what" to the minutia that threatens my quest for creative bliss and familial happiness and romantic togetherness. That minutia must be very distinctly separated from what I am fondly calling 'the hours'. The hours are the times, the minutes and moments, that define my is not in the great variance of emotions that we really experience life (TRUE, we may remember those more clearly, feel them more deeply, for they are the sequins and bows, the rips and tears of our life's quilt) but it is in the daily ins and outs, in the mundane, and in the routine, that we weave our silken coverlet that secures us, protects us, gives us warmth, and comforts us.

I had the good fortune to exchange emails with an old friend last spring. Both of us were pondering 'where we're at' in life, etc...and at that time, I was feeling very much like a stranger in my own life. I was beginning to feel in tune with something that was either lost in me and I was re-experiencing, or something totally new... I'm still not sure. But what I had to say to my friend about this feeling of connection is summed up below, and illustrated in my art journal water color above. "Have you ever been asked about that thriving undercurrent that pulses even when we wish it would not; when it complicates, and creates questions that we didn't know existed? It's that desperate need to align with, be absorbed by and entirely empowered by connectedness; it's that internal voice that asks "And now what?"

The above watercolor journal page was part of an answer to a question regarding simplifying life. Once, someone said to me that "everyone has the potential to do one thing very well...and with great joy (remarkably, it was actually two people I've known who shared this exact philosophy) and my response to this was long...but part of it had allot to do with forgetting oneself; what happens when one's life changes drastically. For me, this was having three babies at one time. My most poignant thought from those journal entries I've illustrated above, and  it is this: "Losing the center of myself wasn't hard to do - it is in the redefining of my 'self' that has given me pause."

What kind of creative endeavors do you know of that combine the written word with visuals? I love to learn about people who enjoy expressing themselves in this way.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

3rd Gold, Baby!!

I was pretty excited and very surprised to discover that I won the gold for this latest poetry contest. There were less than 10 of us that entered, and all of the other contestants were pretty well seasoned poets -some published- and have been site members for years. Unlike allot of the contests sponsored on the poetry site, this one was very specifically structured, and had been well thought out and researched by its creator, who is obviously a huge fan of a writer named Haruki Murakami. The contest was geared around quotes from various novels by Haruki Murakami and, after doing some of my own digging, I found out he is considered an important figure in postmodern literature, and was praised as one of the "world's greatest living novelists”. The quote I chose was from his novel “South of the Border, West of the Sun” and was a no-brainier segue for me to pen Charisma. (check out my FaceBook note “25 Random Things”, number 16 from January 2009)

QUOTE PROMPT: “I was always attracted not by some quantifiable, external beauty, but by something deep down, something absolute. Just as some people have a secret love for rainstorms, earthquakes, or blackouts, I liked that certain undefinable something directed my way by members of the opposite sex. For want of a better word, call it magnetism. Like it or not, it’s a kind of power that snares people and reels them in”.

My response to the prompt, and the gold trophy winner:

forceful pulling magnetic spell
draw me deeper into your personal realm.
Inimitable lure - you are walking sex
my gaze never straying from your
lightning eyes and rouge full lips
entranced by your enthusiastic mannerisms
classic wit and style concoct bewitching charm
instrumental in creating the mix:
sweetly, playfully smart melds into
attitudes alluring and coy,
preceding searing sultriness.
your tasty recipe always irresistible...
one bite and I am lightheaded,
unfocused, giddy, high as a kite,
uttering nonsensical speech; drooling-
salivating for my next bite of visceral chaos.

Despite its slight toxicity,
Your charisma is addictive.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Wonderful MOTHER’s Day

We did what I wanted this year, which meant no plans! We jumped in the car after devouring bagels and breakfast sandwiches bought from a local deli, and cruised our way ‘down the shore’. We stopped at a new and unexplored, but much talked about playground, “Seven President’s” in Long Branch. 

The chilly weather did not stop our quest for a full day, so for lunch, we went to a famous and favorite eatery, The Wind Mill, for the best hot dogs and cheese fries in Jersey. We then motored up Hwy. 36 to Sandy Hook. The kids got their first look at the old barracks, old missiles, and some really cool birds. Once we got home, we ended the day with take-out from a really fantastic Italian restaurant in our town (one of the few…). Are you following the ‘no-cooking –for-mom’ theme I had going on? 

But my favorite part of the day, was getting my beautiful mother’s day cards. Each of my kids handcrafted their very own for me, and needless to say, they are all keepers. However, my daughter’s was exceptional. Not only did she write & illustrate the entire card herself (she’s quite the artist, that one…) but she also created an acrostic poem! 

Imagine my surprise and delight! I said “Honey, do you know what kind of poem this is?” and she beamed proudly “Yes mom, it’s an acrostic poem!” and then proceeded to explain the whole thing to me. Funny, just when I am getting into poetry myself. Shoot, I just discovered acrostics a few months ago, and here my eight year old is already writing her own! How awesome is that?!?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Love Rising

That's what I think I'll name this quick little marker and watercolor piece. Remember that gorgeously thick paper I was trying markers and paint pens on? Well, I finally got some markers for me (though my kid's are thicker, and therefore better...) and a tin of cake watercolors too. It was really fun to just doodle and play around. I like what resulted, especially the effects of the sunlight as it was oozing through the blinds, and onto this painting. Makes for a really nice effect in the photo, I think.

And two more quickie watercolors. The flower was just off the top of my head, but for the butterfly, I used one of the illustrations from my kid's homework pages. In fact, there are about 4 butterflies that I have confiscated, and put in my clip art collection. I know I will be using them for reference, or for collage. If I had illustrations like that on my homework pages in second grade, I'm pretty sure my homework would have been really slow going!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

He's Got A Rider....

the seahorse, that is. I created the mermaid with colored pencils and then exacto-ed her out and onto the seahorse and the main piece. I've included her 'naked' photo too...thought it was kinda cool the way the simplicity of her outline contrasted with the pencils. I snapped that one when trying to decide on colors for her body. It's coming along...

We'll have sunflowers...

and tomatoes and peppers and strawberries, if it ever gets warmer around here. The flowers I bought a couple of weeks ago are looking a bit bedraggled...too much wind and chill, I think, although the bird feeders are emptying out a record speeds, so the birds don't seem to mind.