Monday, January 14, 2013

The work of art which I do not make, none other will ever make.
Simone Weil

I have this quote painted on the wall of my art studio, and remind my students, young and old, to think about this.
I am teaching in three dementia areas of a long term care facility nearby. I knew I'd like it a lot after helping care for my dad during his illness, and from many visits to my grandmother (the one who liked paper) who lived in one for ten years. Maybe it's the in and out of (consciousness) unexpectedly that pleases me, off in daydream world whenever it's pleasing. Why be so serious all the time? Why not live in a creative imagination?.

One of the areas, of the early onset stage dementia, has not been a huge success in art class attendance. I think it's because these residents are not locked in, and can take full advantage of the outside world as well as the world in their facility, which has a ton of offerings. But for some reason, they still have not lost their fears about taking an art class, "But, I'm not an artist" is the main barrier. The group one step lower than them has lost most of their inhibitions and are open and willing to try everything I suggest. Twice a week I have at least 5 residents join me. So I practiced some of my husband's professional marketing skills and decided that we needed some "rebranding" in the more resistant group. I sent out a newsletter offering a 6 week "Handmade Holiday Workshop" in November to make simple ornaments, decorations, and gifts they could share with others. I ended up having 9 students per session! And they have been so pleased with what they've done. I'm now planning our 6 week "Handmade Valentine Workshop", due to start this week. Just don't call it an art class.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


I would like to do whatever it is that presses the essence from the hour.
Mary Oliver

This is my busiest time of the year: teaching, preparing for shows, completing commissions, and making my own gifts also. I left for thanksgiving in Texas at 6 am last week after doing three shows in the three days prior. So I guess it's no surprise that a week later I am in bed with pneumonia.

I'm usually pretty careful not to let myself get rundown since I am dealing with a chronic illness that flares up during times of stress (read: excitement, I.e. holidays). But somehow this year I have let exercise, rest, healthy eating, and stress get the better of me. So, this unexpected time in bed to read magazines and think is entirely unexpected. And a little bit welcome. Ideas have begun to flow. I'm starting to sort out the big picture. Remind myself to work smarter, not harder.

While in Texas I went to an Archivers store for the first time, holy cannoli! A paper wonderland! I went a little crazy to say the least. Found some paper I have been hoarding as its discontinued, as well as another version of it in another color, and this sort of periwinkle with light blue sparkly polka dots (definitely near the top of my all time favorite things: sparkly polka dots).  Got inspired by these colors for a new animal collage. The solid papers are also flocked, ie, they have a fuzzy texture.

Have also been thinking a lot about my color collages of a few January's ago (more on January projects later), and I need to revisit those, more pieces based on color, but more linear, more paper, more words.

some of my supplies, mid-project...