“Last Straw”

Last Straw, 24x30", Oil on Canvas

At one point today, I needed to take a few deep breaths to keep myself from either laughing out loud or bursting into tears.  It’s been one of those overwhelming and unpredictable days in the studio again where progress seems so slow.  I went to bed last night with the excited anticipation of spending some really productive time painting.  This morning had other plans for me because my son is home sick instead of at school.  I always imagine other artists in their cool loft studios, listening to cool music while cool young assistants bustle busily about.  The contrast between this image and my reality is where the laughing and/or crying feeling comes from.  It is also the reason why I have had the following quote from Linda Nochlin taped on my studio cabinets for the last six years.  It reads, “….if a woman is hemmed in by the domestic scene, if floors, toys, and laundry are her daily fare, she can still turn adversity into advantage, constructing out of the meanest, most neglected aspects of experience an imagery horizonless and claustrophobic, yes, but concrete, present, and unchallengeable in its verisimilitude….”  The painting “Last Straw”, which I posted above, perfectly exemplifies my reality.  My days may be unpredictable but they never leave me with a shortage of inspiration.  In truth, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Inner Voice

Decafinated, 30x30", Oil on Canvas

Lately I seem to be caught up in a reoccurring thought.  The same question keeps popping up and so I find myself continually trying to answer.  I want to share this because although my searching is art related, the exercise of asking “what do you want?” is not art specific.  The variations I’ve read are basically these: What would you do if you had all the time and money in the world?  What would you do if all the obstacles were gone?  Finally, what would you do if you weren’t afraid?  The difficulty in finding the answer is that we cannot rely on anyone else to show us what is correct.  We all have a voice within us that tells us the truth.  The trick is to be able to take the time to really listen.  It is easy to get caught up in anxiety or over-analysis but finding a way to get back in touch with that unique voice is the only way through.  I am lucky to have a studio where I can keep quiet enough  to call on that inner voice.  Outside the door I know I may be met with the disapproval of some but I am the most proud of my work when I really truly listen.

The Gift, 32x48", Oil on Canvas

“The Gift”  oil on canvas  32″x 48″

Elisa Contemporary Art along with Vintology of Scarsdale, NY are celebrating art and romance with a show called “Smitten”.  The show runs from January 14 – February 16 with special champagne tasting events on February 7 and 9.

Growing Up

Fritz at Ten, 28x24", Oil on Canvas

We celebrated my son’s eleventh birthday this past Saturday.  I am amazed at how grown up he is getting even though it feels like he was just a baby not so long ago.  I also began to think about how different I was eleven years ago.  I was blessed with a healthy, beautiful baby and also completely overwhelmed.  I had plans and goals that were completely unrealistic considering that I didn’t even have time to sleep.  Looking back, it was enough just to be able to find the time to paint a little every day.  Now I see that time as a gift I needed although I never could have known it at the time.  I was forced to slow down and re-order my priorities.  I had a lot of time to think about who I wanted to be both as an artist and as a person.  I wouldn’t have found the path I am on today without the experience of motherhood.  I thought I had so many things to teach, but ended up learning so much and being forever changed.

Gallery News

It should be a beautiful weekend in the northeast, great weather to take a gallery stroll!  Please visit my work at Cavalier Galleries in Greenwich CT or their new space in Manhattan.  The address is 15 East 71st Street.  Visit cavaliergalleries.com for more information.

A picture is worth 1,000 words….

Blog photos 001

     In college I had a professor who liked to remind us that once we put our work out into the world we wouldn’t be able to follow it around explaining our intent.  While I believe that to be true, and that people will always interpret your work according to their own experiences, I feel lucky to be able to share my thoughts with you on this site.

     Writing is a very important part of my artistic process.  I love the experience of writing my ideas out long-hand in a humble black and white composition notebook.  It’s nothing precious or intimidating, just a place to scribble until all my blurry ideas are sorted out.  To organize myself I go through a kind of word association stream-of-consciousness journaling process.  I make a lot of notes and most often have a list of three or four working titles before I even begin sketching an image.  Each of my paintings tells a story and all of them have at least 1,000 words as their foundation.

     At first I was nervous about sharing parts of this journaling process on-line but I’ve begun to realize what a great opportunity it is.  I wonder what kind of advice that professor is giving his students now?

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