art is all around us. here i will share my personal experiences and passion for all things art! thanks for stopping by, feel free to share a post and check in again! xo

Saturday, September 26, 2009

art today and treasures of tomorrow

Today was a great brisk fall day and I found myself surrounded by lots of great art! I went to Earth Angels Art Show/Barn Sale in Warwick, NY. There were tons of great folk art pieces from hand felted dolls to whimsical pottery and much, much more. 

I have always loved the clay creations of Jill Wiener and I have collected some of her work in the past. The personality in each one of these works is so sweet. There are great polka dots and fun chicks. She has a great sense of humor with the clay and has inspired me to create some fun and "sweet" creations with my students this school year.

 I love these pieces as well where Jill is using great dripping and overlapping glazes. They are really stunning. I especially loved the contrast of those delightful little punchy pink rosettes on the shiny black vessels and pitchers.

 The work of Jennifer Lanne has always inspired me as well. She has a series of new works that are mounted in fun found objects such as antique screens and wood boxes. She had layered some paintings with great metallics and great coppers with tangy turquoises layered over it all. They look great! I loved them all.

Look at this little squirrel with his acorn. What a great little fall friend. He is surrounded by many cute little furry characters. My friend Kathy shared with me how much she loves acorns and I too share her interest and appreciation for such great little gifts left here on earth that many animals enjoy and find delight in. They are sweet little organic shapes. It gave me a great idea for a painting, the relationship between this little squirrel and acorn. 

There were so many fun creations. It was a great day with so much great art to be enjoyed. I loved seeing the diversity of these great folk artists and visiting with great friends and familiar faces of Warwick. I encourage you all to check out the website for Earth Angels art as there are many more great artists and artworks to be enjoyed. You can get the link to the site by clicking on the title of this post. I would also recommend checking out Dara DiMagno's work on the site as here necklaces are real conversation starters. I wear one of her pieces almost daily and they always get a lot of attention!

Be Well and Enjoy!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

falling into the seasons

I can tell that everyone wants fall to be here including Mother Nature. Today was the perfect fall day with a great mix of the beautiful sun and cold gusts of air. As I walked through Target the aisles are filled with Halloween costumes and pumpkin patterned goodies. All of the local gardens and orchards are overflowing with the great glow of orange. Deer are filling my backyard from the woods around us seeking snacks.

The final sign that fall is upon us is that my Martha Stewart Living magazine arrived with a great image of fun pumpkin designs on the cover. Each year I look forward to this issue. Her gang of creative artists always come up with great ideas for how you can use pumpkins as decorative art during the fall season.

This year there are some really cool creations. I love the ideas that are out there. I am not much of a pumpkin carver myself as I enjoy arranging them in delightful little groupings but I love to view what people are able to do with pumpkin carving.

Pumpkin carving is very much an art form. When artists carve or sculpt things out of wood, stone, clay, etc it is always art so why not appreciate pumpkin carving this year? I remember when I was attending SUNY New Paltz College, students would always decorate the paths with great carved creations. It was festive and fun! Think about great artists like Andy Goldsworthy who use natural objects from nature to create art, taking a pumpkin and making it your own art is great too!

I am not quite ready to pick my own pumpkins and gourds out yet to adorn the steps up to my house and fill the bowls around the house, soon though. But I can tell that fall is upon us and I am very excited as it is my favorite season!

More to come on fun fall festivities!

Be Well and Enjoy!

georgia o'keeffe, a story, a movie, and more

Previews for a Georgia O'Keeffe movie began being shown in late August on the Lifetime network. I began receiving emails, phone calls, notes and reminders from my friends, family and beyond. Even my students' parents were alerting me of this great artist's documentary film to be shown on September 19. Wow! I really felt the love from everyone and knew that I had shared possibly a few times how much I honor and appreciate the work of Georgia O'Keeffe.

Last night was the night of the movie and I set my Tivo to tape and tried to stay up but I only caught about half of it and watched the rest this morning. It was great because it really depicted what a strong painter O'Keeffe was.
I felt like it really encapsulated a small part of her life and wished that it had showed a little broader range of her life as it focused on the relationship she had with her husband, photographer, Alfred Stieglitz.

I really loved seeing the relationship blossom between Stieglitz and O'Keeffe in the darkroom. He was teaching her the process and the seeing him mix the chemicals made me nostalgic of my favorite darkroom times printing my own negatives. It was the "magic" of the darkroom.

In time, he really saw O'Keeffe and saw her true beauty. She told him that her mother was embarrassed by Georgia's appearance and had her hide in a closet when guests came. This was so sad to me. I think everyone has beauty and that's what art is all about. Finding the beauty in all things, including people.

The photograph below is one of many that Stieglitz took of O'Keeffe and it is my favorite photograph of all time. It is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and I could look at it for hours and never tire of it. This is real beauty and a true portrait. Just look at the lines and shapes, the way the space is broken up. Ahhh... I love it!!!

Joan Allen played Georgia in the movie and I was so impressed by how her profile resembled O'Keeffe's. She did a great job portraying what a strong woman Georgia O'Keeffe really was. We saw Georgia burning her drawings that she did not like. That was a strong statement to make if you really do not like your work. Alfred tells her that the public has a "fear of color" but Georgia did not share that fear and she continually created bold bright shapes and reflected upon the beauty she found in nature.

One of the things that I have always loved about Georgia O'Keeffe is that she never let fear stop her from what she wanted to do. She admitted to having fears but continually worked through them. I love the courage of female artists working and painting strong paintings in the early 1900's.

I always noticed that O'Keeffe was photographed and depicted wearing such dark colors and I could never understand that. People in the movie noted that she looked like a nun because she was always dressed so darkly and in largely draped fabrics. I find this ironic because of her great use of color in her work. I love using color in my paintings and my wardrobe reflects my love for color everyday.

O'Keeffe spent most of her life painting in New Mexico. She met and lived with Alfred in New York City but was she was in the city she told Alfred that she "missed the sky: in the city.

One line of the movie that I did not like or agree with but was a real sign of the times was, "Work does not become art until some rich person comes along and buys it." Wow! This is clearly not true today. There are people making art daily and the most important value is that of which the artist places on it.

Overall, it was a great movie and I am glad to have seen it. I thank all out there who reminded me and notified me of this a tribute to an amazing artist, my favorite artist, Georgia O'Keeeffe.
"By the time of her death, in 1986, she was 98 years old and was the most significant female painter in history." I still believe this to be true. She is so well known and her work will live on forever.

Be Well and Enjoy!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

simple beauties

As I sit on my front porch this blissful Sunday morning my eyes are captured by the simple beauties blowing in the wind.

The field beside my house is filled with colors and textures fit for this perfect weather. The sun is bright and allows these wildflowers to glow.

I am not certain of the technical names of these flowers but they are all quite elegant in their own right. The white against the green have such great contrast that they drew me in. I felt as if these flowers were crying out for attention and were just asking for my "paparazzi-style" attention! 

Upon further examination, I was able to see how beautiful these little flowers really are. I love flowers, they just have a way of making me smile. To me, these fields are Mother Nature's art that she has left here on Earth for us all to appreciate. So I walked along these little ones for a while and snapped a few shots so I can bring these back inside to be inspired to create my own art about these beauties. 

On my walk back inside I took some time to appreciate some of my own plantings. Many mums that are opening up and showing passers by all the beauty they carry within. Every place I go I see mums now. Grocery stores, home improvement stores, the local orchards are all selling mums with the range of a prism of colors and more. They are really sweet little flowers that show their "true colors" in the late summer and into fall.

In addition to the bright colors of the mums the strong scent of our lavender will get your attention. I wish you could smell this because it is a real treat for the nose!   

So I have gathered today's collection of flowers and I am up to the studio for some "art time." I hope you will all take some time to smell the simple beauties around you today and appreciate the art of flowers. 

Be Well and Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

new old finds

I decided in January to redo our dining room. By "re-do" I really mean redesign.  My husband was not thrilled as we had just purchased our furniture in June 2007 when we built our house but I was able to persuade him to go along with my remodel. I had a vision and I needed him to see what was in my head. 

Brian (my husband) is very talented and I am very lucky to have such a handy fellow around. He loves to build furniture and refinish old furniture so this was a great team project. Brian decided to build our new dining room hutch from scratch- no plans, guides, etc. and he went to right work on the first new piece for our dining room. It was like the first mark on a blank canvas. My contribution was picking the color- of course, as an artist- and the hardware. It was a finished masterpiece in March and we really love it and it is right at home in its new space. It has been standing lonely in our dining room for a few months while we gathered fun finds to help keep it company and seat our company! 

We got lucky and my in-laws live right next to a great old barn that has lots of barn wood and beams available for the taking- by us! Brian dug out the best beams and founds his hands overwhelmed with splinters but it was a great find and worth the hard work. And so the table began. 

Any table would just not be complete without great chairs to sit on as we host Thanksgiving and lots of other entertaining holidays at our home. So the hunt began in early summer and we have just completed the search with the help of our great friend, Jen. We were on the lookout and finally complied 6 mismatched chairs, what I am happy to call, just as any visionary artist would "a perfect match!"


I so love the chairs. They are a great grouping of fun, classic, clean, harsh, smooth, curved lines and story-filled wear and tear. They are great conversation pieces. So the chairs are here, the table is in progress and now to work I go. I have neglected my studio and turned my attention to the chairs and I am in the process of making them even prettier by painting four values of aquamarine blue greens to the new additions to our dining room.

It is a great project and always fun to remodel, recolor and brighten up your life with the newness of old goodies! All recycled materials and all great deals! Love them all! I will share the finished photos when they get there. With school here, it will take a back seat but still is a work of art in progress.

Be Well and Enjoy!