Sunday, December 14, 2014

12-13-14 or Annual ARTsistahs Holiday Day in the City

Every year the ARTsistahs gather to celebrate the holidays in New York City.  This year we decided to have lunch and take a class with Donna Downey at the Ink Pad.  Just like last year, it was Santacon, but instead of showing you a bunch of Santa clad celebrants, I'm showing you a lovely bunch of carolers who greeted us in Grand Central.

We were off, first stop lunch at Commerce in the West Village.  On the way we found the cutest little bakery called milk and cookies.  It was too soon for snacks, but I picked up a magic cookie bar for later.  Anyone who knows me, knows I like a cookie!

3 sistahs posing in front of milk and cookies

Look at this adorable painting hanging inside: artist unknown.

Lunch was at Commerce.  It was the perfect meal.

We started with cocktails

and exchanged little 'gifties'

Then we headed over to the Ink Pad for our class. 
It was held at the Westbeth Gallery. 
Donna Downey was a wonderful, fun teacher. 
 Here she is demonstrating a technique.

We worked diligently on our mixed media books.
 I was so busy, I don't have many photos.  I'll post my finished book soon (probably after the holidays).

We posed for pics with Donna before we left. 
(missing from photo Elizabeth and Kathi who ran to catch their train)
I love my days in the city with my ARTsistahs.  I have found my tribe!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Flower Moon ~ A Tribute to Allison Stilwell

It began when I received an email announcemet of Flower Moon ~ A Tribute to Allison Stilwell.  It was to take place at Jeanine Taylor Folk Art Gallery in Sanford, Florida.  The date of the celebration was November 15, 2014.  I couldn't believe it, I would be in Sarasota and I happened to be free this day! 

Months later, the day arrived.   I stepped into the rental car and got the GPS programmed, I started my 2 1/2 hour journey northeast. I thought what a lovely day to celebrate a beautiful soul. (It was sunny and in the low 70's)

Sanford Florida is a cute little historic town with a cute little gallery that also houses artists' mini studios around the perimeter of the space.

As I walked in to the main gallery, I saw friends and the hugs and feeling of love just flowed in the room. 

MT and Sue

 I was surrounded by fabric art, hearts, stitches, paint, dolls, pillows, sculpture...all the things I loved!

buttons with Allison's phrase
handmade guest book

Tracy (Allison's sister) and Midge (Allison's wife) clearly worked for months finishing projects and  re-working her surface design to create more art. 
Allison's portfolio made into a accordian book on fabrics by Allison

Tracy and Midge

 I became so enamored by all the art I stopped taking photos. 

madonna wall hanging by Allison, sculpture by Tracy

 One photo I totally forgot to take was of her "girls with positive attitudes" developed by Allison.  (darn it!) They were cute little dolls with a message of love incorporated in them.  I just love the messages in her art.  She was spot on.  Phrases like, you are awesome, change the world, do what you love and be fearless are just a few. 

Love poured out of every corner of the gallery. 

pieces by Tracy using Allison's work
Midge and Tracy received hearts and fabric from fellow artists from all over the country.  Midge reworked the hearts, incorporating them into various pieces of art.  She added her own stitches of love on them. 
Heart pieces by Midge

My favorite, were the 'hearts to go'.  I just love the idea of carrying a little bit of love around with you.  It's like having a piece of someone wherever you go.

There was also a wall of work from contributing artists Linda Willis (I can't believe I didn't get a picture of Linda!  sorry Linda xo) and Jessica Rosner.

As we gathered at 2pm, Tracy spoke of the art, the collaboration of all the pieces and how she and Midge created their pieces.
pieces made by Midge from the original cape Tracy and Allison made
original cape made by Tracy and Allison

  The focal point was a self portrait Allison had left unfinished. 

 Midge and Tracy searched high and low, eventually finding the canvas in a corner buried under fabric.  Tracy worked tirelessly finishing it while Allison's eyes stared back through the piece.
She did a beautiful job!
Allison's self portrait completed by Tracy

There was a poem by ee cummings read aloud, a prayer and of course tears and hugs.  Midge strummed her ukulele quietly in the background and people told stories of how they came to know Allison's art.    

midge and her ukulele

It was a true love fest and I couldn't have been happier to experience it.  I will always love the ArtGirlz ~ they get 'it'! 
Allison and Midge

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

one of Midge's 'hearts to go'


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Where I Live

Talented artist Seth Apter is doing a studio 'show and tell' on his blog, The Altered Page.  He wants people to see what a real working studio looks like on any given day.  I love this idea and wanted to join the party.

Here is the studio where I live:
My studio is in the basement of my house.  You enter through the garage.  I painted this wall with chalkboard paint 2 days ago.  I need to wait one more day before I can season it and write on it.  I'm so excited to do this!!
The bench is an old apothecary bench that was in my grandfather's and then my father's pharmacy.  I spent lots of time sitting on this bench as a kid, hanging at my Dad's store.  It fits perfectly here. Enter through the little green door....

Here is the view!  Overwhelming huh?  Right now it is in a transition stage.  I'm transitioning from summer (where I can just paint till my heart's content) to fall (where I need to get serious and start teaching classes again).  I've spent this week organizing and purging. It may not look that way, but trust me!  I love the tables and chairs I have in here.  I can move everything around into all kinds of configurations.

I know it looks like a lot of 'stuff' and there is!  I teach in many different venues, so organization is key!

Immediately to your right I have drying racks and all kinds of storage for supplies.

This is one of my bookshelves filled mostly with books about artists.  I use them to teach my Great Artists unit at a pre-school and also for inspiration.  I love teaching pre-schoolers about art.  I've been doing it for 13 years now.  In the bottom left hand corner of the photo you can see my flat files.  On top of my flat files I have my laptop, printer and a bunch of junk that I need to go through.  Mostly papers I've gotten in the mail that I felt I needed to keep for one reason or another.  The wall is filled with original art from artists whose work I admire.

This little bookshelf, built by my brother, is tucked in a corner.  It stores all the picture books I use to teach an enrichment class at the pre-school.  The illustrations in them astound me!  I love picture books. I could look at them for hours and sometimes, I do!

This is my little corner.  I have everything within arms reach. Currently, I'm tossing things there that need to be filed.   Behind my chair are storage bins filled with paints, sorted by color.  To the right of my chair are all my pens, markers and colored pencils I use in journaling.  To the left are my brushes, pencils and ephemera used in my mixed media work.  You can see the edge of one of my 3 easels in the left hand side of the photo.

I also have these great pull out drawers that are filled with all kinds of supplies.  I mean really, who needs this much tape?  I do get supplies donated, which I have a hard time saying 'NO' to.

There is also a flat screen TV mounted on the wall, another storage area for reference books and magazines and a powder room.

This little girl comes down to keep me company on most days.  She is a good companion.

Thanks for taking this brief tour of my studio.  In closing I'd just like to share a piece I picked up this summer in Newport...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Coffee with BZ

It was just another Saturday morning in New Rochelle when BZ stopped by for coffee.  Of course when Betti and I get together, we don't JUST have coffee, we somehow end up squeezing in SOME kind of ART TIME together!

We were headed to J Patisserie for some coffee and noshes and stopped in at Reverol & Company - Contemporary Art Gallery to see a wonderful artist's work.  The exhibit, R.E.D by abstract expressionist artist: Rafael Jaen, was in its last few days of showing and I'm so glad we stopped in.  I found his work intriguing.  I'm not sure why.  I was drawn to it.

Yes, I made Betti pose, for scale!

There were many small works too.

Of course, we weren't in Paris, but the coffee was delicious!  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Big Egg Hunt

Faberge sponsored a Big Egg Hunt in NYC beginning on April 1st.  There were 206 eggs hidden throughout the city.  Using social media (facebook, twitter, instagram), clues were given and the hunt was on.  People have been posting their finds on instagram and twitter and after seeing some of the pics, I knew I had to go see them in person.  The eggs were created by designers and artists and are for sale here.  Yesterday, April 18, 2014 they were all gathered and nested at Rockefeller Plaza.  Since my birdies were home in our nest, we took a trip in to see them.  Here are some of our favorites.

caitie spotted the first egg

Then we went around the corner and saw lots!  Nicki thought this looked like a dragon egg.

this one was one of my favoites

When i took the photo i didn't notice the guy standing behind this fabulous egg.  makes it look like it has feet!


another of my favorites.  the egg is encapsulated inside a wire nest.

This one was my favorite!!

When looking close up, you see it is not painted but decorated with cut paper!  the work here amazes me!

Being able to view such fun art is one of the many reasons I love living so close to this city.  20 minute train ride and we are there, experiencing such beauty!  If you get a chance check them out...there are 206 eggs.  What a fun way to spend a couple of hours. For more info check out