Monday, March 30, 2009

Red Hydrant Press

Great blog to visit! Alynn is a fabulous print artist. Her business, named Red Hydrant Press (, offers visual treats in a variety of modes. Please check it out! Her work ranges from colorful prints that feature seeds (such as the one shown here) to black and white linoleum cuts reminiscent of The Day of the Dead images seen in Mexico.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Still Standing

Okay, life can throw many obstacles in our paths. The last three years have been tough for our family. Just when we recover from one setback, another problem is thrown in our laps. It's okay, I know there are others with bigger crosses to bear. I know that by most standards, my family is very fortunate.
We continue to move forward on the strength of our love for one another. We have great faith and a love for life. We do our best to be good to others and to be responsible towards our environment. We struggle with our choices and in the end make every effort to make the right ones. We channel our energies into art and music and athletics.
We make mistakes, and we sometimes get depressed but when all is said and done, we are still standing!
*mixed media art piece is made with found objects (vintage gauge, doll parts, paper clips, mica, copper sheeting)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Life, Love, Art That's all she wrote!

I'm obsessed with the human figure. I can't imagine creating something without incorporating some part of the human anatomy. I don't look for physical perfection. It's more about body language, facial expressions, and mood. I try to convey meaning through the poses I place my figures in. I'd love to take a drawing class this summer. I use to draw faces as a teenager but lost the touch over the years. In the meantime, I rely on body language.

So much of how we communicate with others is dependent on our body language. I've learned over the years that I have often misjudged folks by incorrectly reading their body language. I think it's important to remember that we aren't always aware of the image we are projecting to others. If I'm tired or worn-out at work, I have to make a greater effort to arrange my facial features into something acceptable in the work place. People only get a snapshot of you during the day and that impression can make a difference in the way their day goes. But that's work! In art, I can convey any mood I want. With art, there is freedom!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

If The Crown is Too Tight

I recently learned that my mother was a dedicated fan of Princess Diana. The discovery was made while reading one of many diaries mom left behind when she passed two years ago. My mother was always a very practical, math minded individual who loved classical music, played bridge, drew portraits, and wore her education like a badge of honor - no, like a class distinction around her neck. The tastes, celebrations, and fanfare of the lower masses (those without a formal education) were looked upon with disdain. So, imagine my complete surprise when I was told that my mother spent three years grieving over the loss of Princess Diana.
Now, don't get me wrong. I have nothing against Diana and I , like everyone else, was saddened by her loss. She appeared to be a very nice person who was caught up in circumstances beyond her control. The operative word here is "appeared". It isn't possible for people outside of her personal circle to know what kind of a person she really was. The press can paint her in any light they choose. I assume they were correct, but who knows? She looked like a fairy tale princess and we assumed (with help from the press) that she behaved as one too. Did she earn the worship that her crown brought her? We'll never know. Did she earn my mother's grief (claiming at one point that she felt worse about Diana than she did about her own mother passing)? Difficult to say.
The danger in worshipping any mortal being is that we tend to place them too high on the pedestal. Can anyone really measure up to our high expectations? Is is fair to put anyone in a position that they could never hope to live up to? I worshipped my mom. I was devastated when she died. Many things have come to light in the past two years that have lead me to understand that my mom was imperfect. That's okay, I'm not naive enough to think that she should have been. But I really didn't know her well at all. She was a good mom and she loved me to pieces. This I know. But I didn't know she worshipped Princess Diana. I didn't know that she grieved over her death for so long. I didn't know that I had placed that crown on her head so tightly, that it blinded me to who she really was.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Peter Tork has Cancer

As a twelve year old, I became obsessed with the Monkees. I did the whole nine yards, watched the show, bought magazines that had any mention (no matter how small) of the four guys, fell madly in love with Davy Jones, argued with my best friend about which Monkee was the cutest, and begged my mother to let me get concert tickets. I was a diehard fan.

My mother allowed me to get concert tickets in 1967. The concert was scheduled the same week as the infamous 67 Detroit riots. My parents were afraid of Detroit, having taken part in the great white flight to the suburbs in 1964. The concert (which was to take place at Olympia Stadium) was rescheduled for the week following the riots. A testament to my mother's love is that she drove me and three friends to the concert through what looked like war torn streets and neighborhoods following that terrible time in Detroit. Though very fearful of what was going on in Detroit at the time, mom drove around Olympia Stadium for three hours untill the concert was over.
Years later I realized that she understood that my twelve year old life would end if I could not see the Monkees in concert. It was an amazing day. We were young and inexperienced (girls were stripping off their clothing and being carried out of the arena by security guards), we were in the nosebleed section of the arena (the Monkees were tiny white specks on the stage), the screaming and bedlam was overwhelming, and I had the time of my life.

Over the years, I managed to see the Monkees in concert a total of four times. The second time, I brought my son who had become a fan during reruns. The music has never gotten old, and I've found myself drawn to it whenever times have been tough in my life. Though I might go months and months without thinking of or hearing about them, just like bologna sandwiches and chicken soup bring me comfort during illness, the Monkees bring me comfort when I'm stressed or sad. I don't know if it's the music, the fond memories, nostalgia, or the knowledge that at that one perfect moment in my life, my mom completely understood me.

I will pray for Peter Tork as I reflect on the comfort those four guys have brought me over the years and I will remember them with gratitude......

Friday, March 6, 2009

In love with Serotonin!

The first warm day of Spring! Can anything match the feeling that accompanies that first glimpse of sunshine, that first opportunity to open car windows, and the first peek at buds popping out on tree branches?

I don't know if this experience is especially meaningful to those of us living in the north where the sun rarely shines from November through March and the temperatures hover in the single digits mores days than I can count. Maybe each climate has a similar experience particular to its seasonal cycles. All I know is that my heart feels lighter and my creative juices begin to flow as soon as the sun comes out and the temps soar!

I can't wait to spend long summer days on my patio, painting, collaging, and reading about art. Let the serotonin flow!!