Sunday, November 20, 2011


We all have a famiy tree and roots.....
this painting was inspired by 
beginning a search into our daughter's roots last week.

I so badly hope we find information for understand her Ethiopian roots for herself and future generations.  I hope....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I Believe....

I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining.
I believe in love, even when I can't feel it.
I believe in God, even when he is silent.
-written by a man in the wall of a concentration camp

This painting has been evolving for some time, but I finally feel like it has reached its completion.  

I loved the idea of creating a sculptural type effect on a canvas.  I layered canvas sheets onto a stretched canvas, cut away at it, nailed it in places and designed until I liked what I saw.  I didn't know where it was going to end up...I love that type of creative process!   

Then used lots of gesso to create a density to the sculptural shapes.   

Layers and layers of paints came until I felt the combination of color was just right.  Then I waited for the perfect something for the "window"....and then this quote came along.    
I love this quote because of the hope it reveals during despair of our world's history.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

incredibly grateful.

Today I arrived at the  showing at the cafe and was taken by the blank spaces.
There was this mix of emotions, both happy and sad.
The cafe was busy and had to wait for people to finish their time there before I could move in and hang new works.   So, I had time to take it in.  My kids were with and had been playing outside with my husband.  My son, Drew, came in and said "Mom are you sad?"    It must have been written all over my face and I didn't even know it (which I think happens alot with me).

I did feel a sadness.  I had hoped to arrive and meet the seller in person.  But she had come earlier than expected and taken all the pieces.  All 8 of them!  But my sadness was really about saying good-bye to the works because they were such a piece of me.  I had hoped to look at them one last time.  And since I didn't have that opportunity I sat and thought about each of the pieces.  When I had encountered each child in those images in Swaziland.  How each had made me feel.  How as I looked at my photographs and felt so inspired, how each painting had emerged so effortlessly.

With someone having just purchased so many from one series of 8 had me feeling so curious about her as well.  I mean who does that?  Buys 8 pieces at once?  I wondered what her connection to the works were.  Since the series is socially conscious, and focused on the pandemic of HIV/AIDS in Swaziland (33% of the population) I wondered.
Is she in medicine/research.  Perhaps looking for a cure?   Or has HIV/AIDS impacted her life directly?
I also thought she may have a direct connection to Africa.  Is she from Africa, Swaziland, South Africa(very close to Swaziland).
Could she have known or admired Elizabeth Glaser (who created the foundation to fight pediatric AIDS)?

Well, I am so grateful to be able to have an answer.....she shared that she is a Lutheran pastor that was just on sabbatical.  She had come into the cafe and the works kept grabbing her attention.  Eventually, she went to each piece and read the stories that accompany each piece.  She discussed the works with a friend, went home and needed to go back.
It seems the works connected to her soul and the mission of her sabbatical.
 In her words....
"The nature of my sabbatical was to explore how God is on the loose among us based on the gospel of the incarnation at the beginning of John.  Gifted by the Lilly Foundation with an amazing grant, my objectives were:  1.) to collect stories; 2.) to explore the unfamiliar; 3.) to welcome what is; and 4.) to practice living well."

Isn't that an amazing journey to be able to take?  And that she came across my series of works, felt moved by them and wanted to use them to express the objectives of her sabbatical?   Well, it is incredibly moving to me.  I am honored.    And so very grateful that our paths crossed in this way, in this life.   

The sadness of saying good-bye to those works has passed.   
I am left with such incredible gratitude.

Friday, November 11, 2011


11-11-11 turned out to be a lucky day.

I received a voicemail from the cafe I am showing at saying a woman came in to purchase 7 pieces of my artwork.   Immediately I thought I must have misunderstood the voicemail, only to find out I hadn't!  What...7 pieces!

The Message from Swaziland series truly was a labor of love.  It was also a very therapuetic expression after my journey to Swaziland for AIDS Walk Africa in 2008 with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation....who do amazing work to eliminate pediatric AIDS around the world.  This series of work was truly a purging of emotion on canvas.  The series is full of my photography, images of the amazing Swazi people I encountered.  A nation where 33% of the population has been infected by HIV/AIDS.  It is staggering.  And yet amidst such devastating statistics are people full of hope.  The series of works expressed both the pain and the hope for change, hope for the future free of pediatric AIDS.  

I have been able to share the works on a few occassions at different venues.  I always received such a beautiful response to the works, a response that affirmed that the message of the Swazi people was recieved.   The intention of the series really is to communicate the Swazi people's message.  And while sharing the message my hope was also to makes sales to return 33% of the sales to the EGPAF.  

I have donated a few pieces in the past couple years, but hadn't sold any.  It made me wonder if I just had the wrong venue, needed a different audience, or perhaps it was because the works are socially conscious.   It also makes you question your work.    But I also went back to the connection I feel to these pieces, how certain I am that they are meaningful, powerful and beautiful.   I kept hoping that if I was able to get the works "out there" that someone would connect to the works enough purchase one and to bring one home.

It hardly seems possible that today one person would purchase 7 pieces.   It seems unreal.

I can hardly wait to meet the person purchasing these works. I was told that she was on sabbatical the past few months and is purchasing many of these as gifts to people who supported her.   So, I am incredibibly curious about the buyer.... to purchase this many of one series there must be a specific connection to the imagery or issue.   At least that is what I am assuming.  I hope to know more on Sunday when she is there to pick up all the works.  

It certainly is affirming to know someone out there connected that much to the works to purchase them.  But it also has me asking do I value my work?  Have I been waiting for someone to validate me?  I think I have.....but it sure feels good.  It is something to think about.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

i heart faces- Black

i heart faces- "Black" photo challenge

How I love this shot of this little cutie.  We had such a fun family session at dusk and ended it by the camp fire with Smores.  Of course, a smore isn't a smore unless it has been!

Photo Challenges & Photography Tutorials

Sunday, November 6, 2011

sharing the art journey

For a long time I have thought about having a blog dedicated soully to my art.  I have been blogging on my family blog for a few years (the fiddlehead report).  That blog has become an accumulation of all things "me".  Moments of family life, my art life, our Ethiopian adoption journey.  It really has been great precisely because I have made so many connections, mostly with other mothers which makes sense as I am a full time mother of 4 children.  While I am equally passionate about being a mother, I decided it was time to honor my artistic self and my artistic journey.
This is the beginning of sharing that journey.....

seeking beauty, finding inspiration, feeling gratitude. don't have to be an "artist" to seek beauty, find inspiration, or feel gratitude in this life.
we all have the seeker is art.

here we go.....join me!