Thursday, October 10, 2013

A photo montage

There are too many new changes,
and not enough energy to write about them all,
so I will explain as best as I can in pictures:
this is still one of my favorite things to do

my page for a collaborative book, hidden in the background is a mantra:
"the loving are the daring"

Xander will always pose for the camera he is showing what a hot day it was

Theo is camera shy, this is a favorite place for him to nap we call it the bucket
You have to use WHOLE eggs in matzo ball soup or it will look like this
I went to printers fair and drooled over letterpresses

I won an award

I got to burp my niece, see how scared I look.
She was kind enough to spit up on me just so I could get over my fear of being spit up on.
Reminder to not sweat the small stuff

I am still doing yoga, I can almost do floor bow like this...
except this isn't me and my boobies are bigger

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Grandma of the Westside

I don't live in a particularly affluent area of town.
In fact when we first moved here, it was a roll up the windows and lock the doors sort of cruise down the avenue. It has gotten better, you only really need to consider it at night now.
I went to the local market down the street lovingly referred to as the ghetto market, as there are metal detectors and security guards at the front doors. The shoppers are mostly from our neighborhood, and our neighborhood has a fair bit of meth, a good mix of recovering addicts, alcoholics and nomads. There are families too, and that is what makes this section of town sweet and lovely.
Anyway, I went to this market to get three things, we only go to this market for an item or two, we rarely really do our shopping here because we often get fresh produce from the farm or go to trader joes. This morning was a typical visit for me, as I picked up the peanut butter and chocolate chips I watched a woman speak to herself, fill her cart and display the violent ticks of meth; her cheeks sullen and body bruised and scabbed. She saw me and quickly turned on her heels and then snapped her head to look again at me over her shoulder. I went and got my bananas, and was watched by a man leaning against the deli counter, his overstuffed and dusty backpack at his feet.
I stood in the 15items or less line and placed my items on the belt, waiting my turn, as the line grew quickly behind me. The woman directly behind me, saw I had brought my own bag and asked as she stepped out of line, unable to stand still, if I made the green living bag.
I said I had, and that it seems to get a lot of attention.
It is a small handmade tote I carry in my purse for occasions just like this.
It is red and covered in tiny colorful polka dots.
She said she liked it and it reminded her of handmade things like her grandma use to make.
I thanked her and then she told me I should start a business, I could sell them for $5 or $10 each,
but the market sold reusable bags for a dollar, so it might be hard.
I smiled and thanked her.
She repeated again that it was nice quality and was like a grandma made it,
I smiled and said, I could be the grandma of the Westside.
She liked that, it made her smile a big smile.
I paid for my groceries and the cashier mentioned how much work it was to make your own bag...
as I packed up and left I told the lady behind me to have a nice weekend,
and she said you too Grandma of the Westside, God Bless.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I love the smell of ink in the morning

I am rounding the corner, I am putting the final touches on the big Artwalk Project.
I completed 4 woodcuts for this event...
I still need to figure out the window display...hopefully that will come to me
in a dream or the bath...a clear vision of what I am suppose to do.
Until then I will package, label, list and market what I've made.

The studio smells of ink and baby oil
it smells like work!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

New Tricks

We are currently trying to teach our cat how to close the dvd tray.
He is obsessed with the contraption, so when it opens he stalks it and when it closes he stalks it and then sits and waits for it to perform again...we often cater to this by opening and closing it with the remote. But now, we have a crazy hair and want him to close it...he is working on it.

He just turned 10, he is all for new tricks

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Snack break

Being a longtime vegetarian I am forgetting, or not remembering
what certain foods taste like.
Some are ones I never ate...or have no memory of eating, in this case tuna salad.
I have made it, tuna fish salad for hubby, but really guessed on what stuff went into it.
He makes his own now, I guess I was a bad guesser....
I recently came across this recipe and made it and have made it many times over again since.
if you are looking to lower your mercury intake, but still crave that texture I say give this a try.
Hubby tried it and said: "that was not what I was expecting, that is pretty good"
Here is how I make it:
In a mixing bowl combine all this stuff
1 can drained and rinsed garbanzo beans
2-3 stalks of chopped celery
1 shallot chopped
(it is milder then scallion or onions, but they work in a pinch)
1 heaping tablespoon of veganaise (or mayo)
1 teaspoon of wholegrain mustard
I tablespoon of rice vinegar
1 tablespoon of tamari (or soy sauce)
a pinch of poultry seasoning (it is vegan, and a mix of herbs and spices)
a pinch of salt and pepper (white or black depending on taste preferences)
Smash it all up until the texture is to your liking
I like texture so I don't smash it to oblivion
Serve on toasted whole grain bread with tomato

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Friday is for Fancy Feet

When I was growing up my mother insisted that I not wear heeled shoes,
not even for play dress up
Her reason was that they would "ruin my arches"
So imagine my surprise when in high school,  while getting ready for prom I was told I could get
heels to wear with my floor length dress.
2.5inches off the ground and I was a baby giraffe for the week before,
 practicing, and trying to not break my ankles or walk like a truck driver
Now, when I see fancy footwear in the store,
I try them on.
 It is my personal rebellion, a grown up version of my repressed dress-up.
On a recent wander through a retail store I was distracted by sparkle!
I did some impressive yoga moves to get these pictures, I am just saying
So here is what they had on sale for $4 each on the super bargain discount shelf:
soooooooooo much glitter and sequins
I was tempted to get them just to source the sequins and glitter off of them!

this one had chicken feathers and a brooch on the toe!
ohh la la

Sparkle rhinestones,
all around, and the toes didn't even touch the ground

A little Lady Gaga meets Elton John circa 1972
Gold glitter with spikes around the heel
I like how blingy it is in this picture

Even with the super sale and the hypnotic state I was left in from all the glitter and sequins, I left the shoes at the store; because after all was said in done, my mother was right.
The shoes hurt and made my feet feel funny.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Here I am

Here I am.
I know it has been quiet around these parts...
well after my birthday and NIAW I was spent.
So I took a little bit to rest a spell, so to speak.

So I went to the opening of CONFLUENCE last night.
I have work in shows in both Los Angeles and Santa Barbara opening on the same night!
How very continental....swanky indeed.
I had to decide which to attend, and found that it was far more realistic to attend the SB event!
Hard decisions, I know
The Juror Peter Frank was there, and very gracious with explaining how he selected the exhibition.
Explaining the difference between juroring a show and curating a show.
He said being a juror is far more suited for the lazy.
Curators seek out work that connects, jurors simply build a show with work provided.
He had 547+ works submitted and took this monumental task t
o reduce the exhibition down to 43 works, 43 artists!
Amazing odds!
I am over the moon to be part of this BEAUTIFUL exhibition:
(click on any image for a larger view)

The entrance to the museum it was a popular exhibition!


Nicole Strasburg's painting
Amazing seed pod covered in moss, broken china saucers and fur
by award winning artist: Luis Velazquez


Juror Peter Frank explaining his process
next him him award winner Peter Zaleski's painting
My piece between the work of Patrica Clarke and Jeffery Stone

Rosemarie Gebhart on the left and a sweet little painting by Nancy Taliaferro

me and my work, and my name is spelt right!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

43 years

Today is my birthday
I have survived quite a lot of heartbreak, mean words and dashed hopes
I am still standing, I am bruised but not broken...
this is the reason I celebrate.
We are the end of the line, and this life is all we've got.
My hubby is the last to pass on the family name, and I am the last to pass on the religious lineage.
We are the end of the conga until we are no longer here
We are gonna dance, smile, make noise and maybe some trouble too!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

BARREN: life on infertile soil

In honor of NIAW I am posting words or images
I have taken or written about our experience with infertility

A piece I wrote in 2011 for NIAW:
Hubby and I met when we were 21 and 19, I am the cradle robber. It was love at first sight and we have been together since that first date. We waited 10 years before getting married, and another two years before sitting down and talking about how we wanted to become parents. Once we decided, we opened the doors and waited for that positive pregnancy test. In the first year we dealt with my body booby-trapping our plans. The second year we were fighting off the doctors trying to remove my reproductive system. The third year we were trying to simply have a life outside a doctor’s office and then the fourth and fifth years we experienced our miscarriages.
Now we are in our sixth eighth year and we are painfully aware that we are not going to become parents as we had hoped.
In the third year of our infertility journey, I started focusing my artwork on our struggle. As an artist, I turn to my work as a means to process life, and this was one the most complex times in our lives. At first I made the work as a way to comfort myself; I kept the images close and shared them with no one, much like a visual journal. After the first few images were made, something shifted and I started seeing images in my mind all day and in my dreams at night. The comfort became an obsession and a race to capture these feelings and emotions visually.
In October of 2010 I had a public exhibition of my infertility images.
Since the opening, I have received so many kind emails and comments about the show;
so many people poured their hearts out to me and shared stories of their own personal losses.
It has been humbling and amazing.
BARREN: life on infertile soil
personal images of infertility

The inspiration for the show was not only the discovery of my own infertility, but the silence surrounding it. The longstanding stigma of shame has made us a silent tribe of women. Using photography, printmaking, assemblage and mixed media I examine the quiet reflections of a life without children, in a child-centric world and what it means to navigate daily in those constraints.
I have created an exhibit that draws from my experiences and expresses how infertility has touched me emotionally, changed my self-identity, and affected my relationships with the world around me. The images range from quiet and painterly to bold and vivid personal storytelling; many of the works are from my perspective and allow the viewer to enter that same space. The inclusion of four journal entries next to photographs, as well as a wordless lullaby written and performed by my husband which is heard through headphones while sitting in a rocking chair, make a very private experience very public.
The exhibit can be seen HERE

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Busting a Myth-Blame Game

To honor National Infertility Awareness Week I have chosen to repost a piece I wrote two years ago for RESOLVE's call for writers.
The theme was "busting myths" about infertility.
Here is my contribution:
one of many sticks I peed on
MYTH: You did something to cause your infertility that is why you can’t get pregnant
According to RESOLVE there are few lifestyle choices that cause permanent damage to your fertility. I think when push comes to shove; the easiest path for most is the “blame game”.
For us the first years of our infertility was my fault; according to doctors and family at least.
I cannot tell you how often I heard that I must be doing something wrong…
you must not have counted the days correctly.
You must not have kept your pelvis tilted long enough? 
You probably didn’t have sex enough or at the right times.
Being a longtime vegetarian
You just are not trying hard enough
If they were not focusing on our sex life; they were offering up suggestions for food, exercise, eastern medicine and rituals. In our physicians, friends and families eyes, this was entirely our fault and we had clearly overlooked something.  It quickly became insulting and hurtful.
Well, we were rabbits! I have been a healthy vegetarian for close to twenty years, I had never drank, I had never smoked, I took my vitamins, I moved my body, I wasn’t overweight or underweight. I was just your average healthy Jane; nothing remarkable or special about me.  
We explored non-traditional medicines, exercises, meditations and non-evasive medical treatments that fit our beliefs.
When I finally complained about extreme pain (I waited several months to do this as I thought I needed to suffer to become a mother), I was told that I was overreacting to having painful periods. It was only after advocating for myself that it was discovered that there was a medical reason for my infertility, and it had NOTHING to do with my lifestyle or lack of trying.
My Infertility came from a combination of a birth defect and aggressively relentless fibroids, cysts and stage IV Endometriosis. Nothing I could have eaten, taken, or chosen did this.
Making love 24 hours a day, 7 days a week would never have changed this.
It was not my fault and no one is to blame.
This is the message that is the hardest to still get through people’s minds. The easiest route is to play the blame game; the harder choice is to be empathetic.
So I implore you to "Be tough" and make the harder choices.

Monday, April 22, 2013


In honor of NIAW (National Infertility Awareness Week)
I am posting words and images I have written or taken
about our experience with infertility.

2012 RESOLVE theme "Don't Ignore Infertility"

Sunday, April 21, 2013

NIAW starts today

National Infertility Awareness Week starts today
I will be posting several times this week
in honor of something that has radically changed our lives:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

This is your past calling....

I was moving stuff and unearthed a box of old photos.
Among the treasures I exhumed was a postcard I sent myself.
Yep, I am that person....I send myself a postcard the last day of the journey telling myself how I was feeling at that moment or what I had learned.
It arrives days after me, and usually just as the "paradise is fading from my memory" and I am getting back to reality moment.
I wrote this to myself back in 1997
I read it again today with a smile on my face as this is what it says:

Well- here I am and there you are- two way different places-but still one person. You can depend on yourself- and know how long and short time can be, hours, days, months. Feet are tired, ankles sore- emotionally exhausted. but-in a sense a bit afraid of getting into a groove-becoming set in my ways again. Remember movement-simple movement. walking barefoot-walking the dog-motion is what you need and know that returning can be just as good as coming- the swing is in your heart- you have the ability to come and go and don't let that be taken away.Continue to say what you feel. Be aware of what you need and tell him- don't back down as you wouldn't want him to do.and make art-your soul needs it. Send slides-invest in yourself and enjoy time. Don't wait for it to pass (as I am doing now) be loving-take another chance and give it. Know that you are a strong-confident woman-keep that damn smirk on your face. Keep them wondering.

I am so glad I sent myself this is like a pocket mantra.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Oh the things I have seen!

Recently I have had the ABSOLUTE privilege to be able to see
some inspiring works of art.
Candy for my eyes and and heart...
On the 4th I attended first Thursday in Santa Barbara and I chose two venues to visit.
1. the Architecture foundation to see the work of Leslie Lewis Sigler
(sadly I didn't write this fast enough and now her show is packed away)
I find her work is so refreshing and clean and warm and it invites you in....there is a familiar sense that makes it wonderfully comfortable to spend time with.
2. I went to see the newest adventure at Sullivan Goss: 
JUST BETWEEN US: Wesley Anderegg, Rafael Perea de la Cabada, Maria Rendon
On Exhibit from April 4, 2013 through June 2, 2013
Curator Jeremy Tessmer selected an amazing collection of contemporary artists and the result is magical and alive and mysterious!
I was only able to get a couple pics as I found myself lost in the work, when I did remember to take a picture the place was crowded with new energy and excited visitors!
"tight rope" and "Matador"
by Wesley Anderegg

a small selection of ceramic platters also by Mr. Anderegg

Encyclopedia Series 1 A to Animal Life
by Rafael Perea de la Cabada
(He painted directly on stretched book covers)

detail to show the texture of the surface....luscious

Sadly I wasn't able to get any images of Ms Rendon's is breathtaking and check out the link above to view proper pictures.
Then this week I was able to see another true treat for the eyes!
I attended a private small viewing of SWARM at LotusLand...
I had read a lot about the show HERE and HERE so I was quite excited to have the chance to see it in person. I attended with a woman's art group I am part of and it was such an amazing treat!
I felt like quite the VIP being able to view the work so intimately
*click on any of the images for a larger version*
The group was asked to enter via the private back entrance,
so I got to stroll the grounds a little bit before getting to the meeting point!

the room where we met, the main house and first exposure to the work of Penelope Stewart
with her giant handdrawn Beeskep
Ink on Japanese rice paper

here are two smaller versions and a black glass moulded one
the lines were so beautiful !

One of I several Cynthia James paintings...lovely! 

Stephanie Wilde's work " Golden Bees" was intricate and highly detailed, so much so, we were offered magnifying loops to view her incredible brush work.
She uses a single hair to was much like a sand mandala for me.
The ability to see single grains to sand
So beautiful and meditative

detail through the looking glass

more detail for another work

Ethan Turpin and Jonathan Smith's bee cell room
 and Rose-Lynn Fisher's electron microscope photographs
illuminated under spot lights

inside the cell looking up with some fellow art and bee lovers

the full installed Penelope Stewart beeswax room
1000lbs of wax was used to make this room
the different colors reflect what the bees were feeding on, as wax was shipped from all over the united states
You can read her process HERE

detail of the reproduced tiles and pineapples
So inspiring and so alive, I think this year will offer many surprises in the art scene.
I am very much looking forward to seeing new works from friends and creating some myself.
You still have time to see  "Just Between Us" and "SWARM" (the garden is not too shabby either)
 if you are able, I whole heartily endorse it!


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