May 31, 2006


Illustration Friday this week, baked us a cake.
I love cake, don't you? What is your favorite?
Mine is Mandrinen Kuchen.
I painted this little 6" by 6" cake in a cloud tonight quickly, then added some digital icing and text.
So there you go. You can have your cake, but you can not eat it.
But if I knew you were coming, I would have baked you a real one!

The word for the day is ... anticipation ... as in waiting patiently or not, that jumpy feeling inside, and excitement for even a small change!

May 30, 2006

Color of Summer Part 1

Espagnola oil 12" x 14" by Mitchell Rosenzweig

Here is a painting which will appear in our next exhibition opening on June 16th...
For more information on Mitch, visit his website. I love these paintings and am thrilled to have them all summer long in the gallery ... until someone buys it and takes it home of course in September.

The word for the day is ... juxtapose... is in colors side by side which you would not have thought would go together, a series of events forming new ideas and an unlikely group of people thrown together becoming fast friends.

May 29, 2006

Documenta rambles ...

after the bath 18" x 24" oil on arches #140 2005
The painting above was created from an old, not exactly antique sketch I did in college, 30 years ago. So it must be vintage or aged?

Sunday Scribblings

Studio Friday

My first love is and always has been art. Can you be in love at age 6? I think I was... with my crayon box. In 1963, Crayola came out with a new color called magenta. I was in heaven. Everything became that color or had that color incorporated into it. It was so exciting. Since that time I have pursued an artistic life. Every day is filled, in my mind or my studio, with something visually stimulating. Not always pretty, because art, like life is NOT always pretty.
I think that I enjoy more art than ever before as I have been exposed to much more art in the past six years.
Going to the Documenta 11 was a major eyeopener. When we went as a family in 2002, there was so much video installation which was so well done and it was hard to pick our favorite. The outdoor sculptures around the city of Kassel were great too. It was incredible to go to France and see artwork there, to travel to NYC and view works at the Met and MoMa and Guggenheim and the galleries. To see my favorite works of historical art in Vienna and M√ľnich by Klee and Marc were astounding but the Documenta holds something much more special. It holds the pulse of what the world is doing today, right now, just like you and me in a visual sense.
Thank goodness that in 1955, Professor Bode brought the European art world back together for the first time since WW II. He said about the first exhibition:
"It should be seen as a broad, if initial attempt, to regain international contacts across the board and thus at home re-engage in a conversation that has been interrupted for so long, as it were. Haftmann believed that the exhibition also had a didactic brief: It is devised with our young generation in mind, and the artists, poets and thinkers they follow, so that they may recognize what foundations have been laid for them, what inheritance they must nurture and what inheritance must be overcome.

It was a huge sucess on a lot of levels. In future years they saw the need to go beyond their own part of the world (Europe) to expose the rest of us to something non-Western, something of equal importance something global, a representation from an artist from each country all over the world and in most every media conceivableable. Every four years. Next year is Documenta 12. Will you be there?

The word for the day is .... completion ... as in finish. that. damn. project.

May 28, 2006


Friesen collage transfer/acrylic on mdf board 11"x 14" x 1"
double click for more detail
inspire me thursday ... with words in your art

This work was hard to photograph, even for Perry the pro who did this shot. It has 20 layers of medium on it with each layer adding a new collage piece. I used the phototransfer method along with lots of glazing with acrylic paint and medium. Medium of choice is the lucious Golden soft gel. If you haven't used this just go and get some. It is wonderful stuff!
I love this work as it incorporates many special things to me including A lomo photo my husband took of me in NYC, our tickets to the Documenta 11 in 2002, MoMA tickets, a postmark from a letter from my friend Anges in Montreal, and a snippet of a newspaper from our visit to Hamburg.

I enjoyed making this piece and won't sell it even though I have had many offers. It's too personal. Guess it is time to find a place for it again in my home. Once things come here, they are keepers. I had been on the fence for a long time about it, but writing about it here today makes me realize it was made for me.

*** an addition to answer the transfer questions ..... Here is a link to a great artist whom I met a few years ago on the internet - Paul Fujita - we swapped a piece of artwork and I will show you that at a later date. He has a tutorial for the transfer process which I used in this piece and it is quite complete. Please go here to see that and to here to see his work. ***

The word for the day is ... paint ... as in a cupcake pink bedroom in progress, the stuff which makes me enjoy life, and to paint the town red ... occasionally!

May 27, 2006

Winter Poppies

winter poppies II acrylic,paper, ink on canvas: 16" x16"x2.5" 3/2006
(click twice for close up)

More Poppies from the second series. In February and March, I found that our weather had really made me feel a bit anxious. I wanted for color and summer, yet it was still winter here in New Hampshire. So I made a little summer of my own in my studio. They got me through to April.
I used some college elements in all of the poppy paintings for texture. I like to begin with that sometimes. I have an affinity for paper. **additionally*** the painting is on canvas, which I didn't make clear before!

The word for the day is ... fern ... as in a beautiful plant in the woods, a color of green which can be used anywhere and the name of Wilbur's best friend, after Charlotte of course.

May 25, 2006

Poetry break

"two " egg tempera on museum board 18 by 24 inches

this post was inspired by finding PoetryThursday
I have not written a poem in awhile, but after looking at their blog
thought, hey, why not? ... i mean why not indeed?
it's like a canvas or new paper. what's the worst that can happen?
i mean, hey you might fail! oh dear! then what? what indeed?
so here goes. something inspired by my painting above as well as their facinating site!

soft breath leaves no traces
on the window
at the station.

where the tracks had led
through inky holes.

snake like paths
bend, twist
right, then left, then right again.

trees flick past one, two, three, ten
faster and faster until they blend into

the smoky chalk buildings holding
bronze reflections of the motion
flying past.

exhale. the window fogs gently.
shapes push past one another, moving with
the rhythm of the tracks.

a divide in the masses.
a small black and white form
a face, a hand, a smile,

Susan Schwake-Larochelle

Birds and beanpods


One more new work in a series of three ... mixed media, acrylic, oil, transfer, graphite 6" by 6 " by 2.5 "

Birds have flown back into my life. This time in a bird dreaming of giant food.

The word for the day is ... concentrate ... on one thing at a time, delivering the goods and lemon juice!

May 23, 2006

Springtime abstractions

insprire me thursdays

Finally, I had my work of the past three months photographed professionally... (thank you P.S. you are the best!) Here is the second poppy, much more abstract than the other in the series.
What do you think? or as they say in German ... vat are you sinking? Feel free to comment.

Also! The magical knitting fairy dropped a huge package on my doorstep this morning! Much to my surprise, Ms. Jennifer White aka MKF, left me this lovely whimsical spring bag to tote my stuff to and from. Here is said bag. Can you dig it? Oh my thank you Ms. White! You will get yours ... this is more than what I could dream of! And it goes shimmy shimmy when you carry it!

The word for the day is ... tickle ... as in tickle me pink, tickle here's a pickle , and my fancy!

May 22, 2006

Whip up! COLOR!

Wheee! Whip up's last challenge is all about my favorite topic - color!


My project for the challenge was a dye fest of pima cotton and two skeins of cotton yarn. I have been dyeing textiles, threads and yarns for over 15 years now so one would think that I would have become a little better with creating something else from the end (the end for me!) product of yardage of colorful materials by now.

But the fun for me is my own final "product" - the six fat quarters I dyed. (Yes now there are five, read on, one is already gone!) Color abounds here! The lure of yards of white cotton, silk or wool baits me like nothing else. Ususally I dye the fabric and yarn then a skein goes to a friend or two, then the fat quarters or half yards to a quilter I admire. Often I sell them at the gallery. I focused on the fabric not the yarn here in photos as I have already given those away today. I wish i had snapped a shot of the pieces drying on the clothes line too, which with the wild wind today would have been fun. But you get the idea. The one piece (below) of the single fabric will stay with me. Maybe you will see it transform again here soon into something new. There are fairy wings and glowing bugs all part of the icy patterns formed in this one smallish piece of fabric. And it was just white 48 hours ago!

the one that won't get away...

In the past I have created one art quilt with the help of two dedicated, patient and amazing quilters great advise and help. It is almost done. I am planning more. (God help us! those friends are crying!) I sometimes use the colorful fabric to make handmade books or wall pieces. I have plans for some of this fabric which I worked on over the weekend. One piece has already gone to Susann Foster Brown for inspiration - my hot red, orange and deep yellow - to warm her ideas with the fire colors or fall colors as she sees fit!
midprocess in their warming bags ... fabric and yarn together ...

the "wild one" in purple, magenta and turquoise

The word for the day is ... divide ... as in divide and conquer the work, the fabric into dyebath colors and a pan of scones for four with clotted cream and strawberry jam!

a closeup of the lilac to ecru ice patterns

May 21, 2006

Three Wishes

robins nest, in our rhododendron bush in our front yard,
taken Sunday May 21, 2006

Sunday Scribblings
Mama Says OM

This beautiful gift of nature was found by Chloe age 11 the always observant one in our front yard on Sunday. The weekend was a whirlwind of activity with the prom for older sister Grace and their end of the year dance recital. It was all lovely. Aside from the activities, Chloe found this special nature treat.

Three wishes is what they say a fairy will grant you ... if you happen upon one ...
I say we are given the equivalent of three wishes each and every day we wake up. What we choose to do with our lives each and everyday are our wishes granted to ourselves.

The word of the day is ... DANCE ... as in the prom, the celebration of a year's work of dance in a recital form and your eyes when holding a great surprise!

May 19, 2006

Sorry ...

patient rainer oil 18" x 24" ongoing .... click for larger image

Illustration Friday's theme today is Sorry.
This is a painting I have almost done and not quite finished - even - as late as today - of my husband.
When he sees it he puts one hand over one eye and sort of moans.
What can I say except ... "Sorry"
Maybe publishing this painting, (which I actually like very much) will make me finish it this week and stop saying "Sorry"
"Sorry" I couldn't come up with something better...
"Sorry" that it started to rain here ... again ...
"Sorry" about the missing eye most of all. I tried to make it better with sharpie. But as you can see, that didn't work either. Poor Rainer. He still is missing one eye and both parts to his glasses.

The word for the day is ... incomplete ... as in one eye without the other, a martini without an olive and a day without sunshine.

May 18, 2006

Pippa Caley Textile Art

Something silk and linen and foil ... comes our way ... Feast your eyes on this London based textile artist's work. Stunning and inspired! Pippa works from 401 and a half studios there producing a collection of textiles for home and fashion. The pieces are one of a kind, which of course is why I am showing them to you here. Sorry, Target won't be carrying these. Thank goodness! Sometimes you need something made just for you by the hands of an artist which only you will have and hold. To me that is a very special thing. Please go visit Pippa's site and see for yourself what a lovely collection of work she has to offer. It is inspiring!

The word for the day is
decide ... as in which new pillow to buy, to do something about it finally and to get that project off the ground! photos by Pippa Caley

May 17, 2006

Sunshine ...

and fairy houses. The storm is over for now it seems and last night after the rainbow, the fairy houses had to be rebuilt and restocked. Chloe made sure they had plenty of shelter as the past week was terribly tough on the fairy life in our garden as well as our friends near the Salmon Falls river. Do you build fairy houses too? Or natural sculptures meant only for the moment? Daisy chains, stars made from vines, woven clover flower crowns ... This ephemeral art appeals to me on all levels. Part Andy Goldsworthy, part Louise Nevelson, big part freewheeling child. Love it.
The word for the day is ... develop ... your connective spirit to nature, a photograph you took with a pin hole camera, and character - by experiencing extreme circumstances

May 16, 2006

It's slowing down!

art by nature
spotted at 7 p.m out the front door by Chloe!
more human made art tomorrow... this is the first blue patch of sky we have seen in a week!


Steadfast oil 18"x 38" 2001

This is a painting I did a few years back but remains one of my favorites. The image is abstract for sure, but reminds me of the old tale of the Steadfast Tin Soldier. I couldn't sell it ... I had to keep this painting, as it has always been one of my favorites. There is other imagery in this painting but I will keep it to myself as it spoils the view! (I have been told that more than once) Do you see it?

On the wild local weather front, it is still raining, it is as grey as a field mouse and there is no let up in sight. Thankfully, we are still dry at home, but I have to take a trip down to the gallery to check on things and take a look at that roaring water of the Cocheco River behind us. The local schools are being used as shelters for the evacuees, so again today there is no school! We will all have a creative and active day at home today and I will have plenty of time to paint... (and they gym is still open!) Here's hoping the sun will shine tomorrow for us!

The word for the day is ... dry ... as a desert, a fine white Riesling, and my favorite kind of humor!

May 15, 2006

Water, lots of water

Kayaking in Maine, oil by Cynthia Fontneau 12" by 36"
click on images for larger view

Here is a delightful new painting from my student Cynthia Fontneau. She is also my friend. Her work has been dedicated almost exclusively to some lovely chickens this past year, but she took some time out to capture a backwater place that she and her husband kayak to in Maine. Something that we love to do here in New England, but not when forced to. For the past six days we have been experiencing flood conditions. After almost 7 days of rain here the rivers are swollen and the brooks are bursting. Below are some photos of the roaring river behind artstream. It is wild and a bit scary, and completely dependent on the dams holding upstream from us. Many of our friends are being asked to leave their riverfront homes tonight as they live too close. I feel very lucky that we are on a hill and that the gallery is also on high ground. The forecast is for another five days of rain. What will this bring? Time will tell. School and classes have been cancelled for today as the roads and bridges are experiencing washouts. So, we made a cheesecake. When life gives you time, you should always make a cheesecake and play Scrabble.
The word for the day is ... hope ... as in never give up, wishing for the best and the inner part of your being which can not be crushed.

May 12, 2006

Emerging Artists and their Mentors

Sarah, from the Sparhawk School, mixed media sculpture part of an installation 16" x 5" x 3"

A blip on the radar, yesterday was a blur.... no posts ... too busy.
How did it become Friday already? Smiling here from full day yesterday .... First early early 5 a.m. early Mary Jo and I met gallery owners Molly from the Cordwainer Gallery and Carrie to attend the NH Women of Distinction breakfast in Bedford Village Inn at 7. as in A.M. way too early but we had a great time and met up with some of the states most influential, moving women. I even won a raffle for dinner at a fancy schmancy restaurant and for having the l o n g e s t name I won this beautiful arrangement on our table.

Then it was back to the gallery for classes and hanging of our new one month Emerging artists show. Full of juried art created by high school juniors and seniors in all media. Hey, I would have loved to have had the experience of going through a juried process as a high schooler and have my work shown at a gallery, so now that I own one, I figured why not? This is our third annual exhibition and it is a really exciting way to use the gallery. Their mentors love the opportunity to exhibit work as well and because they are busy teaching, most do not get the chance to show their work. We finished up hanging the work after a short four hours due completely to our expert gallery advisor, Adam Pearson and surprise guest helper Rhonda Mann! She is the mentor to Sarah, whose work is above. I fell into bed quite quickly last night but had nice dreams of lots of happy young adults attending tonight's opening. Stop by from 5:30 -7:30 for some wonderful deals on the freshest new artwork in the area. Most work is under $100.
AND! Two of the mentors from our local high school + instructors at artstream will be showing in the eQuniox gallery. Meet Abra Andrews and Jennifer Daly. Both have work in black and white. Abra's photographs and Jennifer's pen and ink drawings. STUNNING! Photos tomorrow...

The word for the day is ... drizzle ... as in the sum of the past week's weather, what to do with a cake and a thin icing, and the misty way that rain can fall.

May 10, 2006

Meet artist Ashely Goldberg

top image: Wonderboy
bottom image: Come on in
bottom of the page image: Laundry ... NEVER!!! images provided and copyrighted by Ashely Goldberg

I found Ashley through one of my favorite daily reads: Bird in the Hand ... (thank you Lisa!) I fell in love with her work immediately and purchaced two of her orignial drawings from her etsy shop. We spoke about her being part of a show next year at artstream and she has agreed! Here is a little preview of her work for you today with a mini bio to tell you a bit more about this young emerging artist. I have one word for her work: EXCITING!
Now ... meet Ashley:

I'm 24 years old. I have loved arts, crafts, creatures, and nature my entire life. I enjoy focusing on portraiture and capturing a brief moment in time. My artwork tends to be simple, but with a sophisticated or stark color palette. I believe great emotion can be conveyed in a simple gesture or look. The characters I create, whether monsters or little girls, are simple, humorous, empathetic, and a little bit pathetic.

I'm influenced by package design,band posters, fashion illustration, magazines (anything glossy or mass produced really) That's why I'm so drawn to prints sooo much. I think it's amazing to have an original piece of art scanned or altered and have it accessible to anyone who wants. It just changes the context of the work..and I enjoy that to no end. I love Julie Verhoeven, Schiele, Nara, thrift store tags, library due date slips. There's such accidental beauty in so many ordinary things.

I strongly believe in what you're happiest doing at five is what you will be happiest doing your entire life. Growing up, I endlessly drew and embroidered onto washclothes that my grandma gave me little creatures and animals that I desperately wanted to live in the woods of my backyard. In my mind these creatures had tiny, magnificent, ornate lairs in the trunks of old trees (which I also drew, along with maps of how to get there). And although these creatures were elusive and shy, they always decided to befriend me. Over the years, my creatures have become decidedly more design-driven, but a part of me is still just drawing little friends to have.

Please visit Ashley's shop to see more of her works, as this is just a teaser. Can't wait to get my package from Ashley!

The word for the day is ... pile ... as in laundry, a nice black pile of topsoil, and piggy pile tickle fest playfulness!

May 08, 2006

Whip up! Classic to Chic


I love recycled things. I find myself facinated with how people can turn a worn collar, make bags out of twist ties and tin toys from license plates. My latest diversion has been buying lambswool sweaters at thrift stores and felting them. In the past I have felted with roving wool but lately my attention has turned to creating a blanket for next winter from strips and squares cut from my ever growing pile of felted sweaters.
Nothing says CLASSIC more to me than a v-necked soft lambswool cardigan. Two beauties were laying on my play (not work!) table shouting, pick me! pick me! The soft spring blue number won out over the black one. I cut off the sleeves, shaved the fuzzies off and made a pair of CHIC spring legwarmers for Daughter #1, age 17 - the one with the passion for ballet since age 4. She has a pair she wears before pointe class, but these are a bit softer and shorter for her regular class. She declined my suggestion of the vintage buttons. Fair enough! Daughter #2 - age 11 - also a dancer - spotted the remaining sweater with cap like sleeves after cutting, and said oh that is cool! So I thought, ok, let's make it CHIC and cut it short like the current craze and the vintage tulip buttons go on that! It was past her bedtime for a photo op by the time I got them sewed on, but you get the picture. She will be cozy in her leotard and CHIC dance sweater in the drafty dance studio. Classic cardigan to Chic dance wear. All in a late night craft session. Cost of the two pieces was just $5 for the sweater at the thrift store and the lovely gift from dear friend Jeanne of the buttons three years ago. We just loved them and were waiting for the perfect item to sew them onto. There it is! Thanks Jeanne!

Felted Bowls

Jennifer Lynn White, Rochester's Poet Laureate is also a knit-wit. Knitting whiz I should clarify! Here are three of her nesting bowls we have at the gallery. Hand knit, felted and worked with needle too. I love these fuzzy little bowls. The set is $100 and are beautiful seperately or together in any setting. Most anything would look cozy inside. She also makes lovely handbags in this same method. All of her items will preview in our online store later this week! What things do you like to felt or knit?
The word for the day is ... reduce ... as in your dress size, your daily goals, and a lovely port wine sauce you simmer for your dinner!

May 07, 2006

Weekend Travel Log

This was a full week of art and fun and games with my family and friends ... one photo says a thousand words so here are a bunch of photos to illustrate a million words the past days:
First, an artists gathering (with family) at Ms. McKeen's new home for a very festive Cinco de Mayo. The men were hanging out elsewhere, whilst the women created homemade tortillas in the wee kitchen. Luckily Judith and Mary Ellen had a good grip on the Sangria and a recipe for tortillas from the absent Anna of Mexico. Who we can't wait to meet.

Yesterday I had to take daughter Grace to the Mill in Rollinsford for her ballet rehearsal. I was going to stop in and see an artist at the Upper Mill while I was waiting ... But he wasn't there. So instead I visited with some other friends who have studios there. They had an open studios event which they usually do twice a year. The one in the fall is very busy - packed with people. Yesterday was a little slow. I was able to visit three studios to see friend Josh Belanger who was sharing some of his space with Albina Colden. Josh's new work looks great and larger than life just as we like it. He is a very talented emerging artist who we believe in big time. Which is where he is headed - by the way... he just quit his day job. Albina's colored works were really lovely. Sorry for the absence of closeups ... I was in heavy chat mode. Then I ran into potter Sarah Burns from Sweet Fern Pottery. She was out with her friend Jess for the day without babies, so they were having a grand time!

Then it was off to my friend Cappy's studio to see what she has been working on and congratulate her for her awards and sales of the past two months. SHE'S SO CAPPY! Notice her lovely coordinated outfit ... the gold in the brass necklace goes with the gold in her Mickey Mouse's shoes screen printed shirt. (Yes, Cappy and I have the same dresser! )
Cappy Whelan is this areas most gifted all around artist in my book. There I said it. I mean it. Here she is with one of her works incorporating some horns from Kris Lanzer (who is holding the eggs on the dish above at the party) I can't wait to see how her new work evolves. She is working with metal. Last but not least I finally met Scott Schnepf. I have always tried to run into him here or there but somehow our paths didn't cross until yesterday. He is just as nice as everyone said he was and his work is impeccable. I had to buy one of his small etchings and had to limit it to one as I could have gone overboard and broke the bank. They are so charming and timeless. We are talking about an exhibition of his work, which will be exciting for artstream as well. I chose per usual: Chocolate. The perfect bonbon on a lovely lace tablecloth. YUM! So the word of the day is ... Intricate ... as in a lace tablecloth pattern, a many layered painting, or a web of friendships spanning the globe!

May 05, 2006


Lil Fatty ink and watercolor 4" x 4"

For Illustration Friday I realized I had not phat nor fat in my portfolio. I am still interested in expanding (no fat pun intended) my little birds so I drew a this "lil fatty" for this theme. If you are interested in these little illustrations of mine or others, just let me know. They are all for sale and will be in the online store soon ...
It is going to be a lovely hot day here in New England so I imagine the little birds and the little bugs will be all a buzz with activity while I work in the garden this morning. Lots to do!
On another buzz - note, have you checked out delightful blogs? It is a neat list of blogs in categories which allow you to browse the sites which you are interested in. Well put together site and as they say - find a new blog everyday! (I am listed under art + design) You can vote for your favorites as well as add your own link! Go on over for a peek.

The word for the day is ... drink ... as in drinking in life fully, a sip of something yummy or to be diving into the drink!

May 04, 2006

Just in from Brooklyn -

I love Brooklyn, most everything about it and Angie at omondieu! introduced me to Rena Tom at Rare Device. Rare Device makes the Brooklyn Experience even more complete this month by featuring all kinds of local Brooklyn designers! Yea for buying local! She has a newsletter which I received just now and you should go check out her store - live preferably if you can, or online. Sign up for her newsletter too! The above photo is an exclusive plate which Lena Corwin made just for the show you are about to read about below. I love it!

Below is an excerpt from the Rare Device newsletter featuring a great event which includes a reception held by Grace Bonney, high queen of design blogs (you HAVE seen design*sponge - of course you have! There is nothing which comes close to her design blog). Here is the newletter excerpt:

Rare Device from Brooklyn has one of the greatest collections on earth and this month is focusing on Brooklyn Designers. DESIGNER EXHIBITION: Join us this month for a special exhibition by Brooklynite Lena Corwin, an illustrator and textile designer whose handiwork can be seen in Glamour and Martha Stewart Weddings. Lena will be doing a window installation and we'll also have her entire range for sale at Rare Device, including a new limited-edition plate created just for this show. For those of you not in New York, the plate is available for purchase at our website. A reception for the designer will be held the evening of Thursday, May 11 and is hosted by Grace Bonney of design*sponge. If you are in town for Brooklyn Designs in DUMBO, this is a great prelude to the weekend.

How cool is that? Just GO! photo by Rare Device