April 30, 2006
Here is myself being not so busy, taking time for a bike ride with my father in law in their little village in Germany. We try and go for a month every year and visit them and travel around. I love this field behind their house with the tiny tiny chapel in the middle. We ususally go in August so it is very warm, great for biking and usually towards the end of our visit we get to see the big combine come and cut the wheat, behind their home. Here are a few more photos of Enniger... the little village just outside of the city of Muenster where my dear husband grew up. He then moved to the city and never left.(until he married me!) Muenster is a city of 250,000 people and houses a major University and design school (where said husband taught). The city is know for having the most bicyles in the world and the entire city has roads with seperate bike paths and separate side walks all through it. It is also won the title of THE most liveable city in the world . It truly is lovely! They planned a lot of green space into the city so it is beautiful, cosmopolitan as well as easy to navagite on foot or bike. It is built on a series of rings around the city center where the Dom is and one ring is called the Promenade. This beautifully wide bikepath is enjoyed by everyone on a daily basis and houses "flea markets" in the summer. You can shop till you drop for most anything you can imagine! There is a beautiful Altstadt in the center and it respects the history yet has a very hip feel as well - (due to the Univesity crowd) all wrapped into one city. There is a lovely Art Museum as well as a new Picasso museum featuring Picasso's Graphic work and some of the presses he used which opened up about four years ago. Public art is most everywhere ... So here are a few random shots to show you that Susan can relax! Wink - wink!
The word for the day is ... brilliant! ... as in the sun shining, your newest idea, and someone with a lot of brain power.
April 29, 2006
Wow! It has been a great productive week here at the studios and my little diversion craft last weekend won a prize at Whip up! I couldn't be more surprised nor pleased as I adore that blog. My entry for "your surly side" and four others won new books on surly side cross stitch. How cool is that? Major cool! The computers have been abuzz with so many project lately, but most pressing was finishing the design of our new brochure of summer classes and last minute additions make dear husband surly! But it is all for good as they are done and winging their way to everyone in a matter of days... if you are local and want one, just ask! Raku and Pit firing workshops, painting on silk, fabric surface design, art camps for children and one more new exciting class for adults: Creativity Class! Yes, time to put aside your fears and get in touch with your creative side! So lots of play is in store for everyone this summer.
So many blog - ites have been posting so many beautiful things that I have been so inspired this week too. Ulla, with her eye for everything beautiful, Andrea and Andrea with their stunning paintings, and Corey with her stunning images! (keep an eye at artstream in the late autumn for her photographs!) Local friends have been completing a lot of artwork for upcoming shows and I will be snapping some shots of them this week.
We have also been slogging through images and ideas for our online shop! Yes, artstream will have a shop very soon (I know I know I said this a week or two ago...) where you can buy beautiful one of a kind art pieces just as you can in the shop. Stay tuned... I have also been
preparing for our huge Emerging artists and their Mentors exhibit in two weeks, which has been exciting and draining all at the same time.
Fortunately daughter #2 has had this week off so I took the week off too and we have had the joy and pleasure to be remodeling her bedroom! Layers of fabu old wallpaper scraped off to reveal years of design - mad for plaid, red cowboy color paper and on the last bottom layer - an aquamarine background with people in yellow ski suits swooshing down the mountain to the sea where others in 50's beachwear were motoring around in huge power boats! If only I could recover the paper, what a collage THAT would make! Choosing paint for a 12 year old - especially one who knows what good art and not so good art is tough. Yes, it took a few trips to the paint store, but we have secured the perfect color, and two shades and tints of it to make the room sing. When it is done, we will take photos! The sun continues to shine, so today will be another opportunity to get outside! Enjoy your Saturday!
The word for the day is ... deliver ... as in really good take-out, the goods, and us from evil!
April 28, 2006
mixed media on canvas, 11"x14"
Blue is the water at the surface of our dreams
composite memories make a new reality
everything below is not as it seems.
Today is a glorious sunshiney day. What will you do with this one wild and beautiful life today?
The word for the day is ... complete ... as in something or someone who helps make you whole, a finish to a project and a great breakfast!
(off to have one of my own) Have a beautiful day!
April 27, 2006
When it comes to artist materials one of my favorites by far is metal.
Here is a photo I snapped of a gate to an artist's workshop in Vienna. Kunstschmiede. Decorative artistic metal in gates, building details and most everything you could make from metal are found in that beautiful city. Formed with love and care weathered to a patina of such richness that it brings a tear to your eye. The second photo is equally lovely to me. This is a found metal sculpture in Barrington, NH by Adam Pearson. Its patina is rust and red from harsh winters and driving spring rain. Rust is good. The curved forms draw me in. The colors of the patina are rich and varied. The two sculptural pieces are very different and very similar. The gates are not for sale - just what is inside. The sculpture is.
What sort of metal excites you? Show me and tell me !
The word for the day is ... observe ... as in the world around you, take a second look and think in terms of that one sense only - seeing.
April 26, 2006
The word for the day is ... stir ... as in what art in all forms can do for ones emotions, to create one by an action, and in "stir it up" a favorite song.
by Priscilla Burlingham
before the tank
a wingless bird
with a giant's heart
they caged him anyway
Now we see him
through Goya's eyes
etched and inked
in black and grey
Looking back from
the curve of the world
at the body
he should have had
Moon for eye
his hand held up
to scatter tanks
like frightened sheep
No cage is large enough
for his kind
quills are forming
we have felt the boom
of his sonic heart
April 25, 2006
We are hoping to have the online shop up late this week ... Sarah's work will be included there too!
The word for the day is ... orbit ... as in your travels through the day, the earth around the sun and your thoughts in your head!
April 24, 2006
Whip up - my favorite daily read - had a whiplash challenge this weekend which I couldn't resist.
I made something a little surly for that surly time of the month. I had been thinking of how silly the little packets are which the schools give our daughters all pretty and pink and how we are always trying to hide our supplies at that time of the month. Well, no more! Here is a set for those in an office (or those who work with others) whose co-workers are insensitive enough not to know better - a handpainted canvas sign with a matching necessity case. The case has the words "Yes, infact it IS that TIME of the MONTH" on the backside as well. Feel free to drape the orange danger flag stylishly at your workspace or pin it to your cubicle. At home mothers and others can use this with just as much panache. Children will learn what those bright orange colors mean even before they learn to read! Those in your personal space will know clearly how you are feeling. Maybe they will even bring you thoughtful gifts of chocolate and evening primrose oil capsules. No need to beg for kindness any longer. All will know with this set of monthly tools. The case has a tie closure, and will fit in most any larger bag, or just tote it to the ladies room as is. Being a woman has never been so obvious! I used Dharma Trading ink jet transfer paper for the typesetting of the text - "PookieFair" is the font. Heavyweight painting canvas and Golden Acrylic paints for the background and Jaquard Lumiere for the golden tones. Stitching canvas is tough for a novice like me, so I went slowly.
On this same note - there is a site for those special times when feeding our comfort food cravings without the hassle of the shopping and messing about. Plan ahead for that needy time and order an amazing baking kit from Baking Fun 4 You! Marvis, the owner and creator of the recipes has *the most* amazing whoopie pies on earth. What is a whoopie pie you ask? It is a PMS food which there is no substitute. It calms the wild beast within us and these kits are so easy to use that you can let your children make them for you while you ease your pain with some tea and a warm blanket on the couch! The photo above should explain all about the Whoopie Pies as a picture is worth a thousand words. This is not art you say? Au contraire. These beauties are high art! Art of desert! Enjoy!
The word for the day is ... indulge ... as in once in awhile, live a little extra, and use all of your senses.
April 22, 2006
Today was world wide draw crawl #9 in San Francisco,
so as today at artstream was an art jam day, I figured I would make it into a coordinating
international drawing day/earth day theme ... Here are the photos of the day
children in the morning/adult painting all afternoon. The mini murals are hanging on the front windows ... I was too spent today to actually get a good photo of that ... maybe tomorrow... The adults tackled my challenge today and each one did an amazing job.
The word for the day is ... precious ... as in our dear loved ones, a moment of joy, and each breath we take.
April 21, 2006
"Mr. Clean as a Whistle"
photoshop messy sketch
OK, today is a little hectic.
Running to the DMV to help Grace get her license.. yes she passed. (hooray and horrific!) Get her ready for take off to Paris tomorrow.
Off with the gym partner M.E. soon to keep my sanity then ... here it comes into the inbox...
ooh how can one resist Illustration Friday?
Especially when one has all of five minutes to draw the ultimate robot?
Here he is. Mr. Clean as a Whistle. (no he can't cook, BUT...)
He shows up.
He smiles at the dirt.
He does his work.
He leaves and nary a trace of my messiness is left behind.
He DOES do windows.
You do not feel compelled to tip him nor does he expect it. He takes pride in his work and that is good because he LOVES to clean. He lives for it and depends on your dirt. He is a spiffy dresser.
*ahem* which no matter how many times I read the inspiring, beautiful and motivational "Plain and Simple" by Sue Bender, it just wears off in a matter of days. Oh Mr. Clean as a Whistle. Wherefore art thou?
The word for the day is .. lower ... your expectations in cleaning, the bar when you need a break, and your head for a nap!
April 20, 2006
This is a mixed media work entitled "Deep"
11 inches by 14 inches
It is the first piece in a four piece series about fishing with my mother.
You can see the others in the series over here.
It is a bit spotted and a bit dotted and a bit deep water
and a bit ... late in the game!
The word for the day is ... quintessence ... as in something in it's purest form, the substance composing the celestial bodies and the most typical rendering.
April 19, 2006
I usually work on my paintings in my home studio, but sometimes I work in my classroom studio on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Here is a painting I started yesterday of a garden path which was part of a dream I had. It is 18 x 24 inches and this underpainting is done in acrylic. I don't usually show things in progress, but I thought I would do so today. Also shown is a stoneware bird sculpture I have been working on the last two days too. It is about 8 inches high and fat. It started with two pinch pots which I put together to form the body. It has the little twiddle feather on top like a quail but has the body and eyes of a Saw whet owl. It was flying through the garden above, so that explains it's strange nature. How it could take off with all that body weight makes it a mystery....
It is in a leather-hard state right now, very chubby and will take some time to dry and burnish and finish. Birds and flowers have been invading my work. I guess it was a long winter? So, maybe late in the month you will see something in a more finished state from me. For now it is underpaintings, leather hard clay and unfinished business!
The word for the day is ... sprout ... as in bean shoot, emerging hope and something a beautiful shade of green.
April 18, 2006
Salamandra Glass: George at work, some Rondells in our front window and up close with two sizes of Rondells:
Because I like to make myself crazy, I sometimes leave things to the last moment. Like jotting down to Dover on Friday to pick up more Salamandra Glass before the event we held on Saturday. When I got there George and John were blowing some glass. I snapped a few shots of them working as it is just so incredible to see! It was a nice day in town maybe 55 or 60F. Inside it was 110F. They have a thermometer, so I am sure of it. Talk about your hot flashes! Actually, watching them work does make your heart go pitter pat. It is thrilling, hot, wildly colorful and glowing all along the process with them making it look so damn easy. Which it is not. Well, I didn't get the bud vases I wanted this trip, so will be going back again this week to pick them up. But I did pick out some more choice rondells for the window... the ones above range from $65 to $170. The one below is much more. Worth every penny as you can relax on your couch and watch them transfer light into a show on your wall or just dream away a few moments or hours reveling at the beauty of the glass itself. Salamandra glass is hand blown by Principal Artist George Cirocco and Glass Blower John Speight. Each Salamandra creation is unique. George and I talked a bit on Friday about the custom glass work he does for homes and commercial spaces. He recently created a glass wall for a space in a home with floating color inside the cast blocks. He also created pieces for a local hospital's meditation room which housed some focal pieces of his work and had special glass blocks inset into the walls. He really enjoys that most, like most artists do, creating something unique for a special space. I hope that in the future, we have the chance with our design work to work hand in hand with George and a special client. His work is breath taking and unique in every way.
The word for the day is ... exalt ... as in to raise in character or praise, to intensify and to elevate high.
April 17, 2006
OK, I needed a diversion. Yes, a diversion - a small amount of time for me this weekend and I love love love the idea of Whipups new Whiplash! Here is what I did for the challenge.
I had a failed watercolor painting on heavy Arches paper, a stoneware clay heart I had made a last week and decided that they should meet up. SO ... I made a small foam cut relief print of my ever increasing flock of birds. (not to be confused with the Flock of Seagulls) and printed it. I chose a shade of pink I mixed up in waterbased inks and printed it onto the failed painting, which is now the background. I ripped it into size and added a pin back to the clay heart and clipped it to the new print. OK, it will go to the gallery today with me and be part of our tiny arts for sale in the card rack. More than just a card, less than a big work of art. It is an everyday creative piece. I always save and rip up, recycle my failed bits and pieces into new art whenever I am able to... which is most everyday...
April 16, 2006
Happy Easter to all! What a beautiful weekend here in Rochester. Yesterday was a huge success for us and as exhausting as it was for us, Mary-Jo and I were so very, very pleased with the outcome. Everyone involved was so professional to work with and a total pleasure. (hey, check out that photo reporters mustache, isn't it wild?)
The gallery was packed throughout the day with early birds starting an hour before we were even officially open. The assortment of high quality goods were stunning and I am hoping to hear soon from Phil Stiles as his camera work during these events (and all other times as well...) are so much better than mine! However, here are mine to start with! Click through here to find the gallery photo albums...
The weather, the music from Amigo Blancos duo was *SO VERY FAB* and added to the upbeat spirit of the crowd coupled with great great sales, made us say, yes! we will do this again in October. We did get some press on Sunday from the Fosters ... if you want to read it go here.
I hope you enjoy the photo album and know that it is only a snippet of the truly beautifully designed work which was at the show. Our online shopping pages are almost complete so you can view items which are going to be available - ongoing very soon! Most everyone who attended as a vendor will be included on our regular artstream shopping site so be sure to check it out!
The word for the day is ... relax ... as in put your feel up, have a fine chocolate or three, and spend some time day dreaming ...(oh yeah and Frankie says ... don't do it!)
April 15, 2006
April 14, 2006
I love Edibeth! I love her encaustic paintings! Here is her work entitled "Apex" it is 12 inches by 12 inches and on display in our gallery right now.
We have some things in common Edibeth and I. We both are teachers, we both admire our same mentor, we both went to the same school and we are about the same age. Yet we didn't meet until about two years ago! How sad! I have admired her work since then and will direct you to her site to view it more fully than here. Edibeth and I spoke about doing an interview here while her amazing encaustic works were still up at the gallery and this is what we came up with. I hope you enjoy this today!
1. What are your favorite mediums to work with?
I'm loving working with wax! I love surface and a wax surface is so expandable and tempting! If I'm out of wax, I'm drawn to paint, pumice, marble dust and modeling paste, all mixed together in some ethereal plane.
2. When did you realize that art was your path?
I loved art as a kid and was forever savoring my crayola crayons and my paint by number kits. After a horrendous art teacher in 6th-9th grade killed my artistic spirit, I was drawn back in by the fabulous and eccentric Mrs. Deikman in 10th grade. I've never looked back.
3. Who are your mentors and why?
Terry Downs, Harel Kedem and Wilfriedo Chiesa have all been very significant people for me at different times along my creative path. My mind set, my work, and my creative path were all positively impacted by these three artists. Terry taught me to draw, Harel gave me permission to paint freely without restriction, primarily self imposed, and Wilfriedo introduced me to squares.
4. What inspires you to create?
Hiking, doing construction/renovations around the house, my children, my students, my dog, my friends, looking at art....my mind's eye is always capturing ideas. Finding the time to work out those ideas is the challenge.
5.What purpose do you feel art can play in your immediate world and the larger world?
My immediate world is a more serene, joyful and inspiration place. I cannot imagine navigating the intensity and stress of the current state of the world without it. I get real time understanding of the importance of art in our lives through my students. Watching them discover, and relish, the satisfaction of being totally immersed in the creative process, as opposed to being passive participants, gives me hope. Art making is universal and I have no doubt the world would be a better place if more right-brained., creative people were in charge!
6.Who are your favorite contemporary artists?
Andy Goldsworthy, Alan Magee, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Doris Salcedo, Catherine Widgery, Fred Ploeger, Angelika Pilz....
7. Who is your favorite historical artist?
Egad...1 favorite? Can't do it. Jackson Pollock, John Singer Sargent, Richard Diebenkorn
8. What three art supplies would you take to a desert island?
A tin of 84 Caran D'Ache watercolor crayons, a set of Derwent colored pencils and a ream of Rives BFK.
9. Where do you think art is going to take you?
I hope my art continues to point me in new directions where I'll meet wonderful and inspirational people, experience new places that become beacons, and most importantly, keeps me sane.
10. What would be your dream job as an artist?
To be a full-time artist with 2 amazing spaces in which to work....a summer studio and a winter studio (sans snow and cold)
These are photographs looking out of Edibeth's studio and into. Above Edibeth is working in her studio on an encaustic piece.
Edibeth's work can be found at our gallery extended through April 8th. For more information don't hesitate to contact me! She also has a great site here!
The word for the day is ... springboard ... like diving from a plank, a way to jettison your ideas and something to help you over a hurdle. All photos by Edibeth Farrington, copyright
April 13, 2006
Today marks my 100th day of blogging. What have I learned?
1. Blogging here has improved my writing skills a bit ... skills are important, ask Napoleon.
2.I have met many new inspiring, wonderful bloggers/many , many artists/many, many craftspeople.
3. I can get lost in the blogsphere (word coined - as far as I can tell - by MAD - see this fabulous post of hers here)
4. I can find my way out of the blogsphere by using all that creative inspriation for GOOD!
5. People can be really kind and thoughtful in this beautiful place.
6. I have done something everyday [besides art] for the last 100 days. A major accomplishment for me. I have never ever done the same thing every day for 100 days. Except the obvious.
7. I have found that my big ole iLamp, Imac is noiser than I would prefer it to be and that outside is still way better than inside. (see photo above)
8. I have read more engaging poetry - and some which people called bad! [NOT] than I have in the previous 100 days.
9. I have viewed other countries through new eyes and artwork.
10. I have been inspired to try and finish my quilt. (started 10 years ago)
So, not a huge list, but still, interesting to me... and it will keep growing I am sure.
(Random photo I took at the Cape vacation which is going to inspire me to jump into the cold cold sea of busy - ness in the next two days!)
The word for the day is ... FOCUS ... as in getting it all together, making it a priority and finding the damn glasses.
April 12, 2006
Our local, well written, chockerblock full of fun, culture and goodness, arts and entertainment weekly magazine put our event on the front cover today!
A big huge hug and thanks to Karen for supporting all these fabulous artists and designers
from across the state ... and beyond!
Go ahead, read all about it in the WIRE
photos copyright of Sarah Coyne
Meet Sarah Coyne, her pillows, her studio - the painter/designer behind Egg-a-Go-Go. I just had to giggle when I heard that name. (not Sarah, ahem...) It is so darn cute. Just like her pillows. I have a soft spot for hand painted textiles from my past life so I had to get in touch with her. We are going to carry her pillows and cards at our Saturday event, but Miss Sarah is off to San Fransisco, so you will have to get her facts here:
I was born and raised in New Hampshire. I came to Boston for school and stuck around after I was finished getting my BFA in illustration for Mass College of Art. I've been working various jobs in and around Boston while pursuing my art on the side. Egg-A-Go-Go is my one woman operation dealing primarily in the realm of cute. For just about a year now I've been participating in art and craft events in Boston and I've been honing my online site and shop while starting up some consigning and wholesale ventures.
I think Egg-A-Go-Go is best known for my Bird Pillows. All pillows are handmade, hand painted and one-of-a-kind. My stationery line is growing and changing to offer new designs and more varieties of correspondence materials. Aside from pillows and stationery my other loves include photography, painting on wood, traveling and collecting just about everything. I am endlessly inspired by the natural world and the creatures that inhabit it.
My very helpful assistant is my giant orange cat, Scruffy, a former hobo who never protests to working the "quality control" position when I'm making catnip pillows. I'm a member of a fantastic craft group The BBLC and we sometimes collaborate on projects when we are prepping for a craft fair.
Sarah has a cute little website and loads of photos of her other work. Go there and explore if you like and stop by the show on Saturday to touch the real thing!
The word for the day is ...persist ... in the face of negativity, as in getting that project done, and in finding your dream.
April 11, 2006
"Fan" handbag and Kimberly with inspiration
All images by Kimberly Lyford, copyrighted --
Here is a story about a friend (Kimberly Lyford) of a friend (Kris Lanzer) who I met this winter at artstream. I was so taken with her work and her past projects (and very excited to see her ideas for the future too!) that we invited her to join us at the Art to Wear/Home Decor show this coming Saturday! She will be bringing her one of a kind handbags and for the runway show a kimono and possibly quilted velvet great coat! So on with the story of Kimberly Lyford ... "Once upon a time, there was a young girl and her sewing machine..."
I have sewed since I was 7 or 8 (on a mini singer and then an antique one as a teenager) and was largely taught by my grandmother, as my mother doesn't sew. I have always designed and sewn clothes, I'm sure I always will. I have done batik and shibori pieces. I also paint and have had one show of figurative oil paintings and reverse monoprints about ten years ago. I plan to explore and push textile design using kimonos as a common medium. I hope to paint again.
Being creative is about a lot of things for me. Whether it is designing and sewing a handbag or a dress or kimono, or painting a figurative work, I want to evoke the essence of something in the beholder. It could be an emotional experience I found quite poignant or a favorite fruit or vegetable, even a place that is meaningful, like Japanese garden. I love how nature puts the most outrageous and perfect colors together. Have you ever cut open an artichoke or a blood orange and gone weak in the knees from the hues hidden within?
Process is also what I seek. I enjoy the problems and challenges that designing allows me to solve, and I absolutely love the happy accidents along the way. I learn something new every time I create. If I don't, then I'm not having fun anymore. Many of the steps in processes like shibori and beading, all those little stitches are quite meditative and symbolic for my soul, a quiet time to sort and pull everything together figuratively and in reality.
I crave the colors and textures of fibers, the thrill of getting just the right material or better yet being shamelessly seduced by some spectacular or unusual cloth so it rather than a set idea drives the design. In a broader sense, it has that magic: it occupies me completely and so satisfies me completely too. I have a passion for things which make a farce of time: love in all it's shapes and sizes, creating art, listening to excellent music, and of course, experiencing a great story.
I will leave you with another image of my favorite bag yet by Kimberly Lyford called "Artichoke" This is just the tip of the iceberg ... er pass the hollandaise?
The word for the day is ... lively ... as in your imagination, a way of living and a conversation which engages you.