Thursday, January 22, 2009

Snowy Winter

What a snowy winter, this is the first week since December when we are not having a snow storm. It is pretty cold here. I a feeling very stressed out,  I am trying to find either a new studio mate or sublet my studio entirely and either move to smaller studio in my building or move to a friends studio. This is a very difficult decision, my studio is too expensive for me to afford for myself, but I really do not love sharing it. If I move into my friends studio, I will be able to afford to stay, no matter what happens to us economically, but I don't really have enough room for all my stuff, felt and paint. A smaller studio will save some money, but not a huge amount. If I could count on teaching felt  I would be able to afford the smaller studio by myself, but I haven't got a good following yet. It is slow, but it is building.  I really need some afvice.


I have just finished three very beautiful scarves for my upcoming class in using prefelts. What I need is marketing skills. Just like every artist. I mean, consider this, you're a real estate agent, not only do you have to sell the house but you had to design  and build it and then figure out who this house appeals to. Well that is the position all artists are in. It is very hard to be good at all aspects of being an artist, most of us just muddle through the whole marketing thing, but without the piece, success can allude you. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

On the Eve of the Inauguration

I know there are many more pressing matters that our new President will have to face, but I hope that he takes more than one page from the FDR playbook, while looking to solve our problems. As everyone hacks away at budgets, the artists become the canaries in the coal mine. If all the monies are pulled from the arts, where will our next artists come from ? If museums close their doors, how will we share our culture ? If  libraries curtail their hours and purchases, where will we  hear the voices of creativity ? If symphonies close their doors, where will be the music of our civilization ? Art is an integral part of everything and yet it is the least funded. When looking at state budgets it is often remarked that the arts bring in more monies than sports and yet, where is the new Art Stadium ? Remember the artists, Mr. President, when they are all gone civilization will not be far behind. 

Extract from the address by President Roosevelt at the dedication on March 17, 1941 of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

"There was a time when the people of this country would not have thought that the inheritance of art belonged to them or that they had responsibilities to guard it. A few generations ago, the people of this country were taught by their writers and by their critics and by their teachers to believe that art was something foreign to America and to themselves - something imported from another continent and from an age which was not theirs - something they had no part in, save to go to see it in a guarded room on holidays or Sundays.
But recently, within the last few years, they have discovered that they have a part. They have seen in their own towns, in their own villages, in schoolhouses, in post offices, in the back rooms of shops and stores, pictures painted by their sons, their neighbors - people they have known and lived beside and talked to. They have seen, across these last few years, rooms full of paintings by Americans, walls covered with the paintings of Americans - some of it good, some of it no good, but all of it native, human, eager and alive - all of it painted by their own kind in their own country, and painted about things they know and look at often and have touched and loved.
The people of this country know now, whatever they were taught or thought they knew before, that art is not something just to be owned, but something to be made; that it is the act of making and not the act of owning which is art. And knowing this they know also that art is not a treasure in the past or an importation from another country, but part of the present life of all the living and creating peoples - all who make and build; and, most of all, the young and vigorous peoples who have made an built our present wide country.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Snow Day

Jumped out of bed today at 6:15, ran through my morning absolution, went downstairs, checked the inclement weather line for work and HALLELUJAH!!! no work. That also means no pay, but I welcomed the day off to work on my Etsy store. 

They sure got this storm wrong, it was only supposed to snow for a couple of hours with maybe an inch or two, well judging from my courtyard I put it at about 6 inches and it is still falling. It is so beautiful, snowfall on a Sunday is perfect. The world is  sparkly, pristine and quiet. 

I wish I could say the same for my house. My daughter is all packed and ready to go back to Montana tomorrow, it is really hard to believe how quickly the last eight months have gone by. I am going to miss having her presence in the house. The dining room is filled with all her stuff, half of which I am going to have mail. I can't get over how much she has changed. Taking the semester off and working has done wonders for her self-confidence.

So today I spent all day editing photos of my wool roving, writing descriptions and putting it on my Etsy store. This has become a real family business. Chip has done my web site, Ian is taking the photos and helping me write. SO go look at my new site and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Getting ready to launch

Flower Slippers
I made these slippers as samples for what is possible when creating felted slippers. They make me smile, remind me of Dr. Seuss. I made these and the more prosaic one below to show my slipper class just what is possible.

I  call these Rosy Toes

The class started at noon on Saturday and was supposed to end at 5,  but I underestimated the time, so the class ended at 7 pm instead. I think everyone enjoyed the class, but all left exhausted.  Making felt is a very physical activity, and no one in my class had ever made felt before. I forgot that the laying out of felt is not a natural action and it takes time to get it right. But I worked with everyone and all the slippers came out.
I have been interviewing people for my studio, but so far no such luck. I really liked the first person  I interviewed, but unfortunately he managed to get a studio close to his home. I am happy for him but sad for me. The next two were totally incompatible, the forth is a possibility, but she already is in a studio and not sure what is going to happen. I had high hopes for number 5, but I am not sure she is really interested,  she showed up with her husband and seemed anxious to leave and didn't ask  questions. Oh well, I still have time.  Anybody reading this and lives in Boston, and wants to share a studio please contact me.

Tomorrow is the twins 21st birthday. I can't believe they are 21! Oliver is back in Scotland and Emma, I am sure will probably want to spend her day with her buddies But I insisted that she give me some face time, I bribed her with pumpkin cheesecake and champagne! SO I know I will see her for a few minute.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Best Laid Plans

This amazing image is from the next show, The Politics of Beads, I am curating at Bead + Fiber in Boston. The artist is Seattle based artist Scott Schuldt.  This image consists of thousands of individually attached beads. Check out the rest of his work on his website; Now if I can only shake this cold I will attend the opening.

How's that saying go, Man makes plans and god laughs?  Well it has been that kind of a week. If it could go wrong it did. Don't get me wrong I love having my kids home, but I am getting tired of fixing all the things they break! First the dryer, someone moved it to look for their dropped ipod and bent the vent. Next the refrigerator, left the door open all night when it was filled with food and killed the compressor. After that, the water heater, when the kids moved a bicycle in the basement ,it got  caught in the wires and disengaged the heater and last but not least, one of my little angels failed to read the parking signs on the street and got the car towed!!. To add insult to injury, I go to work and one of my fellow workers decides to give a belated Christmas gift, the worse cold I have had in years.  SO now I am  home watching bad tv with a sore throat that feels as though I swallowed a golf ball.  AND If all that wasn't enough to make me want to hibernate for the next year, well the icing on the cake was my studio mat, who was supposed to stay with me for at least six monthshas announced that she will be leaving me on March , after 3 months. SO I now have to find another person to share my studio.

When I am awake I am trying to put together my new website and my Etsy store. It is going well and I plan to get it up and running in two weeks. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I'm Back

The Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery in Glasgow, Scotland.

Well where to start, it has been awhile and a lot, I mean A LOT has happened.  First of all, let me update you on my show in October. This is the last painting I finished and one of the most fun to paint. I had a fun opening and I am very grateful that in this economy I sold two paintings. No press, but you can't have everything.

Because of this economy, I will not be taking the the winter off from my Trolley job. I will be working, driving in circles and talking history all winter. It has med me think about my priorities, I would really like to hobble together a life that revolved around art. To that end I have launched another venture.

I am making beautiful felted wearables, teaching felting classes and selling the materials and I am the gallery coordinator for a friends store/gallery, Bead + Fiber Gallery. It is located in the hot hot section of Boston, Sowa, at 460 Harrison Ave. I know what your are thinking at store in a downturn economy?  Well so far so good, I mean if we can keep our heads above water now, which we are, just think what will happen when the economy turns around.  It is a unique concept. Bead + Fiber Gallery shows contemporary Bead + Fiber artists. sells the materials  and has classes to teach. I am the felt maven.

This is an example of  the type of my work. The scarf is a Nuno felt scarf, which means wool and silk are laminated together during the felting process. The earrings are beaded felt beads.

I do love making things it is very satisfying, and then to see someone buy them and use them gives me a kick. 

Anyway, check out the website,, for my classes and I will soon launch a website devoted to B.felt complete with an Etsy store to sell my finished goods and supplies.

I went to Scotland to see my son Oliver perform at his school, the Royal Academy of Music and Drama in a performance called a "Panto". It was so much fun, they have nothing like this in the states. It, is geared toward children, the title is Mother Goose, but a lot of the jokes and gags are strictly for adults. If I had to compare it to something it would be a cross between, burlesque and variety. I loved seeing my son in his element. His girlfriend had me over for dinner and I swear she was rehearsing for the role for Mrs Poole. It was a wonderful dinner complete with meet the aunt, who is a delightfully chatty women. Though that said I  only understood every third word was said. I know they are speaking English, but there is only so many times you can say, What?

The economy really bit us for Christmas, I pared back to what really mattered. Having all my family and friends over for wonderful, calorie laden dinner. I made most of my Christmas gifts and the kids got only what they needed, new coat, jeans no big ticket items this Christmas. And guess what? I didn't miss them, and neither did they. It was a delightful day.

As I am getting ready to drive in the parade for First Night here in Boston I want to wish everyone  a Happy, Hopeful and Healthy New Year.
In Peace and Hope


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Sad Week

Work in progress 24"x36" acrylic on panel

This is a very hard week for me, there has been family illness, a friend and colleague is battling breast cancer and my husband is having trouble in his company. Sometimes I wonder if I really should be doing something, like painting which during times like these it feels very self-indulgent. I have not been able to make a living from my art, I do sell, but it is barely enough to support my art habit. But then I go to my studio, pick up my paints and the rest of the world disappears, so perhaps by working in my studio, I am keeping myself out of the mental health care system and thereby saving room form someone who truly needs it. 

Today, is one of of those beautiful New England days, my crab apple tree is blooming in my little "yardette" and the smell is intoxicating. I went to the garden center yesterday on my way home from the hospital and picked up some beautiful pale pink ivy geraniums to plant in my window boxes. Because I have to drive this weekend, I have asked that for mothers' day,  my family please plant my window boxes. That way, when I come home from my shift on Sunday, I will be surprised with the work all done. I am looking forward to seeing that.

Heard form my son Oliver, who goes to school in Scotland. He chastised me for not calling! An absolute first, usually, it get ragged on for calling too often. The year is winding down so I think he is getting a little homesick and looking forward to coming home. They go to school until July 2 so he still has a ways to go. His twin sister, who goes to school in Montana will be coming home the end of the month. She has already informed me that our home is going to be a youth hostel this summer, with dozens of her friends coming to Boston to visit. I don't really mind, secretly, I really enjoy all that youthful energy.