Friday, December 06, 2013


I've set up a gallery of works that are for sale to make it easier to see the art in one place. So far I've posted only prints, although I will be adding some original paintings as well. 

Right now, the purchase process isn't "one click." I have it set up so that you contact me through a form to let me know the piece you're interested in and then I can let you know what sizes are available and the prices. This is partly because I want to keep some of the "personal" in the sales process. I know that we go for "easy" in this world, but when it comes to art, maybe that's not the best way to go. I like the notion of us having a personal connection. 

I'm still in the midst of finding the best ways to sell art--both on and off-line. Although I've been self-employed for years, there's a big difference in how you market and sell services and how you market and sell art. It's more complicated than you'd think. 

Plus, I have a little ambivalence about selling my art, I've realized, after the All of Me show at InFusion. Although I love that my pieces resonated with people, at the same time it feels a little bit like you're selling your soul, especially since my art is so personal. I'm not painting landscapes here. I'm painting aspects of myself. 

At any rate, tiny steps. I'm focusing on putting myself out there and on trying to learn as much as I can about how to do all this. As with most of life, this is a work in progress. . . 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Artist Statement

I had to prepare an Artist's Statement for a show I'll be doing in December. This is the first time I've had to do something like this. As someone who is self-taught and came to art relatively late in life, I haven't had the experience of reflecting for years on what I create and why. This is what I came up with:

I paint and draw to understand myself. It’s no surprise that art journals are my primary mode of working. While my written journals help me explore and document my experiences in words, my visual journals take me to different realms within myself that I can’t access or express with language.

It’s also no surprise that most of what I create are women’s faces. I’ve come to realize that these are ways that I’m exploring different aspects of myself and lately I’ve become more intentional in teasing out what I’m trying to learn about my hidden moods and feelings, especially those things in myself that I reject and keep in shadow.  

My art is made intuitively. Many pieces, especially my paintings, begin with symbols and quotes that I use to charge the piece with a particular quality or energy. And then I begin to paint or draw over those initial marks. I look for happy accidents and hidden opportunities--how can I build on the serendipities that come from painting with no particular end in mind? I love layers and depth, but some of my favorite pieces are those that are the simplest.

Art, for me, is like therapy. It’s a way to go into flow where I’m beyond conscious thought and the demons of my left brain. In my favorite moments of creating, I’m aware of being tapped into something larger than myself, into an energy that is both exciting and calming in equal measure.

It’s not the product that turns me on as much as the process. That feeling of bringing something into the world that expresses some energy, emotion or experience in a way that rings true for me. A piece is complete when I know that it has told me all it can say.

Monday, October 07, 2013

All of Me Update

Hard to believe, but in a few weeks I'll be hanging my first show at InFusion Cafe in Philadelphia, PA! 

Yesterday I matted and framed a couple of prints to see how they'll look and I have to say I'm pretty pleased. 

Even more than the art though, I'm excited about how the dialogue part of this is evolving. We've set up an All of Me website, a Facebook Fan Page, and a free journal with 7 days of prompts and affirmations to explore different aspects of ourselves. We've also chosen several prompts to use at the show in November, hoping to get people involved in responding and sharing their experiences. 

For me, art is an opportunity for discovery. It's the discovery and exploration that really turns me on and art is just one way to do that. I also love journaling for self-exploration and conversation with other people to get different perspectives on how they are encountering the world and their own lives. 

Although I'm excited about having my art on display, I'm even more excited about how the All of Me project can engage others in that process of discovery. So much for us to learn about ourselves and each other!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Speak Words of Love

I'm paying attention lately to how harsh I am with myself--all the ways that I judge my own reactions to things, especially if I'm seeming "weak" or "overly emotional." 

Part of this comes from being a woman and living in a culture where we are regularly told that we are "crazy." And we buy into this story, so we judge those parts of ourselves that are sad or angry or frustrated. 

This also comes from being human. We all judge those aspects of ourselves that are "unacceptable" to those around us. 

With this piece, I'm trying to remind myself to speak words of love to my inner vulnerable self. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Working Through

I started this over a week ago. Usually I tend to start and finish a piece in one or two sittings, but in this case, I started it and immediately messed it up. So I painted over most of the face, just leaving the right eye and then walked away for several days.

I would see it in my journal and not know what to do with it. Wasn't even sure I could really salvage it. Then last night, I sat down to work on it again and she emerged.

I'm always interested in how art becomes a metaphor for life and how we live it. In this case, there have been some things going on in my life that were kind of ugly that I didn't know how to work with. Usually when this happens, I keep working at whatever I don't like, afraid to leave it alone because I hate that ugly in-between stage when I don't know what form my life is going to take. It's not that things always turn out well--they don't. It's the uncertainty I have a hard time with.

I keep having to learn over and over again (usually through art) that there is a time for just leaving life alone. I need to let things germinate and rest so that their form can begin to emerge. That's what happened with this painting. It just needed some space to breathe.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Shadow Warrior

This one took me by surprise a little, especially the mouth. It didn't turn out the way I wanted, so I painted over it and got the grey "lips" and then it became her mouth. I scrawled "Shadow Warrior" on the side. It popped into my head and I went with it. 

She's definitely not pretty--a little scary and angry looking actually. She is battle-scarred and is not putting up with anyone's shit. She seemed ghostly to me at first, but then I realized it's more like aboriginal war paint she's wearing. She's expressing a part of me that's ready to kick some spiritual and emotional ass--my own or someone else's. I'm not quite sure yet. 

I turn 50 next week, so she seems part of that movement into the Dark Queen years. I'm less interested in pleasing people and being found "acceptable" now and much more interested in figuring out exactly who the hell I am, why I'm here and what I can get accomplished in the time I have left. Not in the "let's be productive and add to the economy" kind of way that is dominant in our world. No, in the "let's get serious about what's really important/what's my sacred purpose" kind of way. I think she's showing up right now to remind me of this. And to remind me that it's partly about integrating my shadow and partly about being a warrior--fierce and ruthless where it's needed. 

Sunday, September 01, 2013

All of Me

As my little coffee house art show, scheduled for November, begins to take shape, I've found a name for it--All of Me

I'm working with a writer friend to make it a larger project, beyond just the art, because we've realized that these portraits I paint are really aspects of me. And that all of us, especially women, spend a lifetime working toward wholeness. We have these pieces of ourselves that others consider "beautiful" or not and what we present to the world is largely about what we've accepted in ourselves. I want the art to be a gateway into working with women to help them explore and integrate these fractured, fragmented selves, finding ways for us to heal what's split apart and love it into wholeness. 

This piece I called Medicine Woman. Usually I don't name my art until later and usually the names are kind of lame. But this one started with me journaling about being a healer, resisting that idea a little, but also knowing that it's somehow my fate. I attract wounds and wounded people and do my best to heal them. But I'm just leaning into that a little more. In the past, I've done it unconsciously, which has caused me a lot of psychic pain and drama. Now I'm thinking I need to do this more mindfully, with an eye first to caring for myself. The "put on your own oxygen mask first" school of healing. 

She went through many iterations. The red at her neck is a hint of how she began. I most like the fractured looking cross-hatching on the left side of her face. I realized as I did it that I was playing with the idea of fractures and brokenness and also the idea that for me, being a medicine woman is about integrating Light and Shadow--accepting ALL of ourselves, especially as women.