Monday, June 30, 2008

The Gift of Slow

I want to thank everyone for taking the time to read the Conversation I had with Fiona Long. I do hope you enjoyed it. Again, my apologies about the titles below the photos, however blogger just didn’t want me to do that the day I posted. If you have any specific questions about specific photos, please email me and I will give you the titles.

Also, you will note, I have not listed a name under “My Next Conversation is with…”. I will do that as soon as I can make arrangements with another willing artist. Be patient with me, it is summer and we are all busy.

A few weeks ago I wrote about Slow Art. Andrea read the post and sent me this book which her brother had introduced to her some years ago. The Discovery of Slowness is about Sir John Franklin who did a lot of exploration at the North Pole at the turn of the 19th Century.

I have really enjoyed reading this book and actually saw a great deal of myself in how John expresses his own slowness. His life was brutal as a child as he was so misunderstood. His father was mean to him because he felt he was a son who had a life not worth living. The children at school picked on him horribly, as you can imagine. But one day, a teacher thought there was more to John Franklin than met the eye. As an adult, John became a focused, but kind and gentle man. The book really details the adventures, the thinking, the struggles and the joys of this slow man. While the book is a work of fiction, it carefully chronicles the life of Sir John Franklin as close as possible when writing so many years later.

If you are interested in understanding slowness, in historical fiction, exploration or in learning to move through your life in a rich and rewarding way, I recommend this book a lot. It begins slow…imagine that…but as the story line picks up, you are swept up in the adventure and thinking of this man. One of the most interesting parts to me is his outline for the education of all types of people.

Have you experienced any slow art recently? How about any slow life? I am continuing on my path of slow art with some different types of details and lots of glazing. I began two new paintings recently, one is moving forward smoothly while the other one awaits work on the details.

Everyone have a beautiful and creative day!

Friday, June 27, 2008


I have decided it is important to leave this Conversation With Fiona Long up through the weekend, so enjoy all of the wonderful things this amazing artist has to share.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Blogger has been given me a real time this afternoon. I have tried to upload this conversation 3 times (that is formatting it 3 times) and still cannot get it to publish the titles to the photographs. My apologies to you and to Fiona.

Conversation With Fiona Long

Fiona Long is an artist extraordinaire who lives, studies and works in London. Fiona and I have the connection of her having grown up in the same area of England where I lived just a short eighteen months ago. At a very young age she is an accomplished artist who has an interest in how life interacts with art.

1. I understand you have a degree in Psychology and are now working towards another degree in Art. You also come from a musical background. Would you tell us more about your history and how important you feel it is to the art you create today?

Hi Kim, that’s right. I did a degree in psychology over ten years ago. It’s a fascinating subject and I loved it. What I really wanted to do, however, was to paint. I really wanted to study art but felt that I ought not to as it wasn’t the ‘sensible’ thing to do. I felt I should follow a career path that would bring me a stable financial existence and make people proud. I started off doing drawings and paintings in my spare time but it was just too painful not to devote more time to it so in the end I gave up almost entirely for a few years. It spilt out into things like my cooking though.

It is so interesting how we deny what is really right for us. But I suppose we live in a society which doesn’t encourage us to always follow our own intuition or goals. It is the same for me.

Yes, I’m glad you found your art too Kim!

I guess these things can spill out into music too and singing has been another creative expression of mine. My Dad is a keen blues singer and guitarist and I sometimes join him at his gigs. This interest in the Blues led me to do the official portrait of the late, great Tommy Johnson which is currently housed in a Blues school in Mississippi and will eventually live at the Tommy Johnson museum when the TJ Foundation have raised the funds to build it in honour of this legendary man.

Fiona, this is such a cool story and it is neat this is now housed here in the States waiting to be hung in a museum…now how great is that?

It’s really great! I’m so excited about it!

I’ve now just finished my 1st year of my fine art painting degree at Wimbledon College of Art . I’m totally loving it and my tutors were very happy with me in the assessment I’ve just had which is encouraging!

I am sure your tutors were over the top with your work. I bet you are eager for the next year to begin and more exciting work. Is your summer break filled with art?

Of course! I’m going to be making a lot of it and when I’m not doing that, I’ll be absorbing new situations and aesthetics, going to exhibitions, reading and letting all that wash over me for a while. Then I’ll try to work out what it all means in a couple of months time!

1. When did you realize you wanted to be an artist?

I’ve always known that I wanted to be an artist really. I’ve been drawing and painting ever since I could pick up a brush or a pencil as a toddler. My Dad would bring home reams of computer paper for me which I would fill with crayon scribbles. I could amuse myself for hours on end like that, only breaking to have the odd dance around the sitting room or to climb a tree. Spending lots of time on my own like this led me to be a bit of a dreamer which has helped me to do the creative thinking I do today.

You sound like the child of any busy parent’s dream. J And I am sure you were.

Oh…I’m sure I had my moments!

I knew that I wanted to become a professional artist when several things in my life fell apart at once. I turned the negatives into a huge positive because I felt that this allowed me to follow my dreams and stop just being ‘sensible’. Sometimes it just isn’t sensible to deny what your soul demands that you do! I allowed my heart and soul to have a say for a change and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I couldn’t be happier!

Ah yes, the push to follow your muse…to do just what is important to Fiona! I am sure many people can relate to that kind of life changing event. You are so right, it is not sensible to “deny your soul demands…” I can’t say I agree more.

1. Your paintings like to push the limit of every day things you see. Your body of work which focused on Urban Decay and your more recent focus of what is stored below people’s sinks clearly bring the every day to life. Have you always focused this way or were your early works differently focused? Do you think it is your psychology background which is showing an influence now?

I used to have terrible difficulty defining my work but you’ve done a great job here Kim! People asked me what I painted and I would say: well anything really: flowers, fruit, animals, portraits, occasionally landscape. But yes, what has always fascinated me is looking at real things but in a slightly different way. My early paintings looked at many things like flowers etc but focused in on them almost to the point of abstraction. I enjoyed how intimate they could look. Of course, Georgia O’Keeffe was a real inspiration in this.

You know, I think it takes another creative person to be able to help you see in your art what you need to explain it to others. To me, we have far too much tied into our work emotionally to explain it to someone else who has a more difficult time making that kind of connection. I know I have a very hard time explaining my work to others. The blog world has helped me a lot with that. I am sure your connection at college does that for you, too.

Oh definitely! I’ve learned how important it is to be able to talk about one’s work and it’s something we’re really encouraged to do at university. And yes, it’s helpful to get perspective on our work and others by stepping back. A bit like doing a large painting really and needing to get back and maybe leave it alone for a while to really understand how it’s going.

Last year my work focused on and around urban decay in my series of work ‘Urban Flux’. With this work, I was definitely challenging the way that we look at the everyday. I wanted to demonstrate the beauty that surrounds us even in things that we might not usually see as beautiful. When I moved away from the beautiful New Forest where you have also had the delight of living, Kim, I was struck by the difference of the aesthetic of London. I realized though that even though nature is obviously beautiful when it’s doing its own thing in a truly rural environment, it can be pretty amazing when it has its effect on what man has made too. I love the look of layers of peeling paint or the effect of wind erosion and lichen growing on a wall. This battle between man and Mother Nature is an amazing aesthetic which I wanted to point out to the viewer, hoping that expressing it as art would be a way of changing the way that people see their own surroundings.

I have to say I completely agree with you. I adored living in The Forest and I adored my time in London. Beauty is everywhere, if we know how to see it. Your work of bringing this beauty to the public has probably made a huge difference in their lives. Even though I am a pretty strong visual person, I know your work has encouraged that particular kind of searching for me.

I can’t tell you how pleased I am to hear that Kim!

Yes, my latest Under Sink Cupboard paintings have definitely been playing with the everyday and what can be perceived as art. It has been interesting to focus on something so apparently banal but with lots of underlying metaphors. My psychology has really come into this body of work as it looks at how our childhood perception of space and the home affect the way we experience the intimate spaces of our environments.

I have to say when you first asked for those photos of under our sinks I kept wondering what in the world…and to create an online museum of sorts of those photographs was brilliant. But you have again, taken what you learned from those and created something to make viewers see beauty and creativity in a different light. And it was an honor to be a participant in this adventure, too.

Ah! Thank you Kim! The whole Facebook group was highly amusing to me and it was so funny to wonder how people might be reacting to the craziness of it all. Some of my friends admitted to me that they thought I actually had gone mad! When I painted them, the Sun was shining and I wanted to add a sort of childlike excitement and exuberant palette to express that childhood wonder of exploration. Did you ever like to make little dens or hide in a torch from the grown-ups thinking it was all terribly adventurous?

Oh yes, the whole “fort” thing of the blankets over the dining room table, so we could have “walls” to hide away from the rest of the world around us. We were so safe under there. And I never thought you made, Fiona

1. Your work has the most incredible detail. What mediums do you prefer to use? How do you best work?

Thanks! Well, I always used to be, almost exclusively, an oil painter but I do love to experiment with all kinds of mediums nowadays from marble powder and rust to concrete and tar! My brick wall paintings are fairly simple. They’re pretty much just sand and glue so they even feel like walls!

That is so cool….sand and glue to create some excellent art. You know I adore those. They must be relatively heavy, though. Is that true? I think it is fantastic to have true texture a viewer can touch. I wonder if these hung in a public space and people were encouraged to touch them how long it would take to show that wear…talk about interactive art!

Yes, I love the idea of that! I always feel really honoured when someone gently touches my paintings. They generally know that one shouldn’t normally touch one so surely the urge to touch must overcome these social constraints. Success!

Also, with my interest in the way that things decay and change with time, the idea of one of these paintings being eroded by people is absolutely perfect! Totally on theme! Great idea Kim!

Oh, and yes…they’re getting really quite heavy! I’m working on reducing the weight in my more recent ones…but I do love that texture!

1. What artists influence you the most (past and present)?

Gosh! This could be a very long list! I’ll try to limit it a bit.

From the past I love the painterliness of Rembrandt and Velasquez and Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro. I love the mystery! Goya’s late work whilst he descended into madness is enormously powerful!

I love the passion and horror of Francis Bacon’s work and the way that Lucien Freud and Jenny Saville paint flesh. I really like the innuendo that Francis Picabia and Georgia O’Keeffe employ.

There are many women artists who have had enormous impact on my work over the last couple of years. Especially Louise Bourgeois, Cathy de Monchaux, Kiki Smith and Annette Messager.

These are really great artists, Fiona. I also have an interest in women artists…I wonder if that is because women painters are relatively new…like women writers?

Maybe. I don’t know really but I often find that their work really resonates with me. Of course there are loads of male artists I love too!

1. Who else has had an impact on your work?

Well, I love to read which can really inspire my work. The White Hotel by D.M. Thomas, The Atrocity Exhibition by J.G. Ballard and The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard have all been enormously inspiring. The support of my parents has also had the biggest impact of all and I couldn’t have done it without the advice from tutors and the people around my life including my wonderful cyber friends like you Kim!

Yes, we are really lucky to have cyber friends who influence us so much. I know tutors and personal friends are always important in our work because they are the ones who help shape our life and give us the personal experiences we draw on. Thank you Fiona, for the nice words and honor here.

1. Of the work you have done to this point, what is your favorite? Why do you think?

Oh, I don’t know. This changes all the time and I still feel that I’ve yet to produce my favorite work. I think this hunger to find and create something that I’m truly proud of is what keeps me going and going!

Having said that, I love making my brick wall paintings and they seem to be pretty popular. I’m glad that so many people have responded not only to the aesthetic but the sense of humour which lies behind them also.

You have a lot of lovely choice, Fiona. The brick wall is also a favorite of mine…now do you have plans for other wall surfaces?

Yes, I have lots of plans for making variations over the Summer. I’ve been looking at different brickwork bonds (patterns) this week and collecting different coloured sands around the New Forest.

You are going to have some great summer works, Fiona. There are some lovely variations in Lymington, I remember. I know it is just out of the Forest, but close. And you might check some of those back roads around Sway. I just walked a lot in that area so it is familiar.

Thanks Kim. I’ll be sure to check those out.

1. What do you think is the greatest artistic risk you have ever taken?

Something quite simple really which turned out to be quite fundamental in the change of my work. I got a bit stuck, when I was younger, trying to make my work representational. I went to some art classes in my village of Lyndhurst with a wonderful old teacher called Fred Sinkinson who was friends with many of the St Ives movement artists so needless to say his work has a wonderful abstract quality to it much of the time. I started painting a knobbly guord and he encouraged me to exaggerate and explore the vertical structure of the squash. I know this doesn’t seem like that radical a risk but it was a big turning point for me and the way that I approach making art nowadays

I can see where that is a big risk for you at this point. I think risk means something which makes you struggle to move past what is making you feel stuck or frustrated.

I quite agree. Sometimes it can be quite a small change that makes a huge difference. I suppose our artistic learning is an evolution with revolutionary eras!

1. What do you think is your greatest accomplishment to this point? At 30, you still have lots of time to realize more.

I guess it was just resolving to paint again really and getting emotional reactions to my work.. That and selling 3 paintings in one night at Art For Youth last year! Oh, and getting my work into the State of the Art competition exhibition at the Royal College of Art was pretty cool too! I’m so pleased I got into Wimbledon where I study and I’ve very recently had some paintings accepted into an exhibition at Deutche Bank.

Those are fabulous accomplishments! I like how you acknowledged being able to get emotional reactions to your work…you are right, that is indeed HUGE.

1. What do you think has been the greatest benefit to you so far in finding your artistic voice? And by-the-way, how do you find that voice?

I think I just look at the world around me. There is always something to make and always something to say.

Voice is a struggle for so many…it seems to come naturally to you. I wonder if that is because you grew up with a man who painted with his voice and in a place where your voice could be heard…I felt The New Forest was like that.

It could well be. Yes, the New Forest is a magical place. I like to take everything that I’ve learned and experienced in life and draw it together in various ways to express new ideas.

The perfect voice, but it does take some longer to know what to express than other, I think.

1. What do you think will be your next project?

Over the summer I’m going to get to work on some commissions that I haven’t had time for over the academic year and I’m going to work on pushing my brick walls a bit more. As you know, I love to experiment!

Yes, and I am with you on those experiments. That will be fun to work on those projects. I hope we will be able to see them as you get them completed.

Of course! I’ll pop them up on my blog ;0)

I will be watching closely.

1. What is the most difficult project you have ever worked on?

I’m not sure really. I guess I embrace the challenges and don’t really see them as difficulties. I suppose it was my Urban Flux sculpture. I had to dismantle a lot of electrical items and then assembling the whole thing was pretty back breaking. I spent hours on end crouched over with a screw driver in hand. My classmates were shocked to discover I was a girl at the private view!

I bet they were…that is funny! I can see where that would have been very physically challenging to be sure. I love the way you say you don’t see them as difficulties, but embrace the challenges! What a great approach!

(This is a photo from the London Underground at Stockwell. It isn’t my work except that I observed and snapped it. This is the kind of thing that inspires me though)

1. Do you enjoy writing about your art?

Yes, I do enjoy writing about it because so much thought goes into it, I want people to know about it! Then again, a good artwork should talk for itself so I try to be careful about that….sometimes!

Well, I know I enjoy reading and seeing your art…so keep on doing both!

Thanks! I will!

1. What other art forms hold an interest for you?

Gosh. I think I love all of it! Video, performance, ballet, music…..

An all around creative person, Fiona!

Well, I can’t say that I do it all but I certainly appreciate an awful lot of art forms!

1. Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Thank you so much for reading and I’d encourage all of you to enjoy and embrace your creativity. It’s one of the most wonderful things you can do!

It sure is! I second that!

Fiona, you have recently had an additional honor of having a music CD inspired by you with some of your art on the cover. Will you tell us a little bit about that and your experience with that CD?

Bob Cheevers, the enormously talented Americana singer songwriter and I met when I went to his gig at the Platform Tavern in Southampton. I did a sketch of his eminently drawable face which I showed to him during his break. He was rather taken aback and asked if he could have it. I gave him the sketch and he gave me a signed CD of his in return. We began a wonderful symbiotic artistic relationship by email where he would send me poems and we’d spark off each other. He would inspire paintings and the result is this wonderful CD: Fiona’s World! That’s the sketch I did of him in the moon on the front cover and that particular moment of meeting is described in track 4 Pictures of Strangers in bars where you can hear me singing! Bob Cheevers lives in Austin Texas but he’s coming over to Britain shortly to do a long tour and promote the CD. I might be joining in with a couple of the gigs. Fun!

Fiona’s World is available to purchase

…And in closing…

Thank you very much for interviewing
me Kim. It has been an honour and really interesting to do. It has
given me a new perspective on some things!

Oh this has been so much fun. I always feel so honored artists are willing to do this with me. I learn a great deal and every artist has expressed how much they have learned from the process, too. Believe me, you are ever so welcome.

(I will return on Friday.)

Monday, June 23, 2008

It Is About Time....

I guess you thought you would never get to see any more paintings from me. Well, here you go. As I have said, I have been working on several at once, but have decided to call this one done.

So here is a quick shot of one which will go in my Contemplation series, however I have no idea what to sub-title it (suggestions are very welcome). This is acrylic on a 12"x24" staple-less deep gallery wrapped canvas. Some of the paints have some inference colors added and the more orange hue is in copper acrylic. There are about 50 layers of the clear glaze on this getting any reasonable photo was not easy. Doing this painting was like dancing! I had a great time with it.

I had a very busy, studio-less weekend. I hope your weekend was fun.

Look for me back here on Wednesday with my Conversation with Fiona Long. I know you will enjoy what she has to share with everyone.

Until then, I look very forward to hearing from each of you!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sharing the Source and a Little More

Yesterday's post (written on Wednesday evening) has generated some really great conversation. I am enjoying it a lot, too. I wanted to share with you the thinking was spurred on by this book by Ian Jackman, editor. The Artist's Mentor has a chapter titled "DWM" (...dead white males...). Here is a quote where he brings that term up to define it:

So has anything changed since 1971? Art has reflected changes in society that have taken place over that time. There surly are more opportunities for non-white, non-male artists. The canon of Western art through the end of World War II or through man-centered abstract expressionism will remain dominated by the DWM (dead white males). Most artists do not set out on a career in art trying to become great; their ambition is to make art and the Western playing field, if not even has certainly leveled out some.

So this might give you a bit more of an idea of where this editor took this idea. Basically this book is made up of a series of historical quotes which relate to each chapter. Below are a few quotes from a chapter titled, "Intention":

I don't paint pictures in the hope people will understand them. They understand or not, according to their capacity. -Pablo Picasso

I am not satisfied to tell myself: 'You are a painter, do your job and let those who can, talk.' -Max Beckmann

When an artist explains what he is doing he usually had to do one of two things: either scrap what he has explained, or make his subsequent work fit in with his explaination. Theories may be all very well for the artists himself, but they shouldn't be broadscast to other people.
- Alexander Calder

Now have you noticed not a single one of these is by a woman? In reality there are not a lot of quotes from women in this book...maybe we don't talk all that much, at all. :) Or maybe it is just not as interesting to this editor. At any rate, what are your thoughts on these ideas about intention?

I will leave you with these thoughts for the weekend. I wish for you the greatest and most creative few days.

And next week, I think we will be enjoying another Conversation. This time with Fiona Long.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Women in Art (post for Thursday 19 June)

I did not grow up around art. I grew up doing things like sewing, snapping beans, cooking, freezing and canning food from the garden, hanging clothes on the line and taking care of my baby sister. Sometimes I would drive the tractor, but that was usually the responsibility of my other sister. In my spare time, I would read. I think I read almost every book in my elementary school library. In the summer, Mom would take us to meet the bookmobile if we were able to get all of our work done and she was not at work. While I was doing these things, I had a lot of time to think. I would think about what it would be like to live a life where I could read or sew a lot…you know, I could write things or make practical items for people who could not or wouldn't sew. But my little girl self only knew of one of our local legends in art, Grandma Moses (1860-1961). Our school did not provide much in the way of art education. We had the obligatory art class once a month where we were given a sheet of newsprint and some crayons and told to draw something. If it was not a good representation, then we were subject to the paper being held up to be laughed at. Most kids came to the point where they hated art.

Joan Mitchell "Land" 1989 oil on canvas

Then I went to high school. Taking art class was not something “normal” people did, and appearing normal was important in being accepted in my community. I remember there was one girl who took a lot of art –she and her family did not care what people thought of her– and I used to adore looking at her paintings. She was really cool and would talk to me about the art she was making, too. That was my first introduction to anything really artistic, but I never thought I could do anything like that. Today, I understand that girl does not paint at all.

Lee Krasner

But when I went to Va Tech (the university I attended which has probably become famous for all the wrong reasons now), the art world opened up for me. I met this great student on my dorm floor who was an interior design student. She was great encouragement for me and remains great encouragement to this very day (she has been my best friend for 32 years now). Because I changed my major and was so drawn to the creative I took some art appreciation and art history courses…there I was introduced to the American Abstract Expressionist. I fell in love…yup! Total love!

Joan Mitchell "Piano Mecanique" 1958 oil on canvas

Then lots of things happened called life, but my daughter became interested in women writers and started encouraging me to explore women painters. I fell in love all over again…How come they did not share the likes of Lee Krasner (1908 – 1984) and Joan Mitchell (1925 – 1992) with us in Art History? Uh? We only heard a little tiny bit about Anni Albers (1899 – 1994). Maybe that is because she worked with fibers and that was okay for a woman or was not as much competition for other artists.

Lee Krasner

Most of the people who comment on this blog are women…although that has nothing to do with this post. But here is what I am wondering, do you think male artist approach their art in a different way than women artists? I do think so and that may be why I do not know of any regular male readers here. Do we want different things from the process? I think that is a possibility. Do you have an interest in women in art? I do because they were left out of my earlier studies and they have played an important part of art, if for not other reason than they supported a lot of the famous men. Do you think it influences the work you do? Probably not very much, I just think it is interesting.

You might remember in April I posted about Babs sending me a painting she and her grandson had made as well as some seeds for my garden. then in May I posted where I had planted those little seeds and they had sprouted. Well, today I am showing you how they are looking this day in June.

Don't these look wonderful? I have moved them to be near a railing on our deck, since Babs says they like to climb. As you can guess, I will be showing you how these grow throughout the summer.

Now this morning is lovely is much cooler and the light is dappled in my yard. The birds are singing and there is a baby faun living in our back yard - it is so small...complete with spots on it's back.

My son was going to walk into our village to his job this morning, so I decided to go along as we needed a couple of things from the grocery store. As we got to the rails-to-trail path, I hopped on my bike and went along leaving him to read as he walked. As I was stopped waiting to cross one of the streets a man on a racing bike was on the other side. He said he liked my basket and added, "you look so French!" I really laughed, but thought of Andrea in Paris. I don't look French, at all...just my bike, maybe. My features come from further north in Europe and a bit of Native American blood. I thought I probably looked more like someone in Denmark, Norway or Sweden on my bike. What do you think?
But as I was returning on my bike with my fennel sticking out of the top, I did get lots of attention with my basket (one I had to special order as they are not common here) and cruiser bike. Most of the people here do not ride their bikes with a great purpose (some use them to go to work, but that is a new thing), but use racing bikes more for exercise-not as a means of transportation.

It is just a beautiful day here, and I wanted to share it with you. This post is not so much about art as it is about life...but I will be posting again later today as I am not going to be near my computer tomorrow morning.

I hope you are also having a lovely day where you are!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Celebrating News and Creativity !

All of you regular readers of this blog know I really am interested in creativity. I love thinking and talking about how people access their creativity or do not access it. I like to understand what it means for different people and how they use it. I like to understand the differences and the similarities. But most of all, I really like to share it all. I hope you find that here and I know you find it on many other people's blogs.

One of the newer blogs I have been reading lately is written by Paula at Second Studio in New Mexico in the US. While Paula shares her own art on her blog, lately she has been posing some fun questions to get your thinking and wondering about what might be. For example, she recently asked what her readers thought they might find behind a particular wall. I have found these posts interesting and inspiring and thought you might as well.

Another friend who posts thought provoking posts and asks what you might consider is Kate who writes Kate's Corner from Ohio, US. Now Kate takes us on trips around her town and sometimes even on vacation to Florida with her. She shares some fabulous art of her own and some she finds created by other people. She gets your imagination going with beautiful photos and tremendous adventures. Many of you know Kate and probably find her blog as inspiring as I find it!

I hope, if you have not, you will visit these blogs. I am sure you will find their posts inspiring and creative!

Now I spent much of the weekend in the studio...adding glazes! Are you tired of hearing about those? Well, I also began work on those small canvases you saw on my table last week. The glazes have not yet begun on these canvases, but this is how they appear to this point:
As you can see this is just a quick shot of the mess and everything. These little canvases are 4" x 12" (about 11cm x 33cm) each. I have been thinking of all the different ways these little guys might be hung. How would you hang them?

I have also been adding a lot more glaze to the other canvases I have been working on. Several of you have had questions about this glazing process and what it does for the painting. When I photograph it normally, it is difficult to see the glaze. So I have taken a shot of that large canvas from the edge. I am guessing this canvas now has about 80 layers of glaze you can see here. Remember, it is added thin layer by thin layer. Does this give you a better idea of how this appears?

So I am working away and enjoying your blogs a lot! And don't forget to visit Andrea's blogs today - remember she lovingly writes from Paris, France. She has some of the most exciting news! Yes, now this is the kind of news we all love to hear about our friends. Begin by visiting her CestAndrea blog where she will give you the first idea of what is going on. Then go along and visit her Miss Doodle's Day blog where you can learn a little more. And if you are so inclined to read a blog in French, do visit La Journee de Miss Doodle and leave Andrea a comment.

So go out today and celebrate your own creativity and celebrate the creativity of others...I promise it will expand your own experience!

What blogs inspire your creativity? Who's creativity are you celebrating today? And what part of your own creativity do you find takes a lot of your time and patience?

Have a Very Creative Day!

Monday, June 16, 2008

So Many Gifts!

On Friday, I received a beautiful package in the mail. This package was full of treasures from our dear friend, Suki. She not only created the beautiful gifts with her art, but also with her words.

This photograph shows the items which were in the box. The wrapping paper was so beautiful. You can see that as a background for these items. The golden ribbon tied up the blue was also very beautiful. The card in the upper right corner was made by Suki and included a description of the meaning and the intention of the artist.

There were three books in this box, as well. One is a small magazine written by Rice Freeman-Zachery who also writes Notes from the Voodoo Cafe. Another book is Shaun Mcniff's book, Art Heals: How Creativity Cures the Soul. I am a great fan of Shaun Mcniff. But the book I am really excited to read right now is Suki's own novel, Catching the Light. Now if you are interested in this book and another secret title, please visit Suki's blog as she is having a little contest to give some books away.
Another gift in the box from Suki was this tiny Japanese book she made! Isn't it adorable? I really love the design, the paper and everything about it.
Look how tiny this little book is....and my hand is definitely on the small side.
Suki also read on this blog how I collect tiny pottery, so on her recent trip to Cape Cod, she stopped in at Diane Heart Pottery and purchased this small pot for my collection. Look at the detail of this little piece and the colors. It also feels so lovely in my hands.
Inside the little pot were these shells from the beach in Cape Cod along with a piece of sea glass. Suki picked these up for me during her trip. I am so very touched with this effort. I also have a collection of shells from around the world, but I did not have any from Cape Cod!
Now this is one of my very favorite pieces in the box. This is Suki's card! She hand makes these...a little piece of art for each person who receives her card! On the back, she has handwritten her email address!

I receive so many gifts from blog friends each day on your blogs. This package was a lovely extra. I can't stop touching these items...something you can't do digitally! :)

Thank you Suki....and Thank You All for all the many treasures and gifts you share with me and with everyone you meet each day! Artists are so generous!

Now go and visit Suki's blog and see the treasures she is giving away!

Today...I send you each a big hug, a beautiful day and Love!