Congrats My Dear Friend!

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Have you ever tried writing a book?  I have at least 4 books rolling around in my head.  I never get past page three out of complete frustration! However, my friend Jeanine, she did it and I am so darn proud of her!

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Years ago Jeanine founded a group called Rhode Island Families in Nature.  Her mission is to share her passion for the great outdoors with kids, grandparents, moms, dads and any significant other. It’s do-able, it’s accessible and it’s enjoyable.  To quote Jeanine, “People who regularly spend time outside are happier, healthier, and even smarter than those who do not. And hey, let’s face it: it’s just plain fun to get outside and play!”  Jeanine offers a monthly hike on her website.  All you have to do is show up!

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Now let me get back to the hard work part…  So first she had to write the book – kudos right there! But there is so much more. Jeanine picked the most family friendly hikes from her own experience and then set out with a GPS app to painstakingly map out all 42 trails in her book.  I went out with her a few times on this mission and I tell you she was counting how many steps from the tree until you turn left and documenting any inaccuracies in previous mapping attempts.  She checked parking, strollers, time frames, you name it.  Ok. so she got that done and then had quite  a few more hurdles.  On her own, no backing – her own money, Jeanine hired a map maker, an illustrator, an editor, a graphic designer and alas a printer!  Each process took months and months and she saw it through all by her lonesome.

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I received a text of this photo one day. To most of you this looks like a trunk full of boxes right? 

To me, this photo was filled with so much symbolism, I just love it.  I picture Jeanine  all by herself, giddy and needing to share this with someone – anyone!  I imagine when she looked at her car she must have thought ” HOLY SHIT I DID IT! This is real.There are  actual boxes of my book in my trunk!”  There will be a book launch party this weekend and a lot of celebration, but I’d imagine grasping the reality started with this trunk.

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So I say to all of you who live in NY, CT, MA and RI – think HOLIDAYS!!!  With this book you can go to a place where there are no cellphones or sirens.  It’s quiet and you are hand in hand with the people you love.  Sounds to me like a gift that will keep on giving!

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Congratulations my friend. Job well done!

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Book Launch Party:  Join us on Sunday, September 27, as we explore the northern section of the Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge and celebrate the launch of The Rhode Island Family Hiking Guide and Journal!

Sunday, September 27, 2015
1:00-3:00pm
50 Bend Road, Charlestown

Let the Jewelry Wild Rumpus Begin!

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I just started committing to holiday shows. This means jewelry-making for the fall is official!

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I have scoured the old Providence mills for over ten years and own WAAAY TOO MANY jewelry components.  I used to make jewelry for small gift shops along the New England coast as well as The Boston Museum of Fine Arts gift shop.

 Just recently a fellow  jeweler passed away and she wanted to make sure someone would put her materials to good use. I was entrusted with her belongings which was enough to say OK I WILL MAKE JEWELRY ONE MORE TIME!!! 

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I’m trying very hard not to buy any more supplies, but it’s hard, I have purchased a few more things… just a few!

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I figured my autumn pottery session should be devoted to jewelry vessels for my holiday booths as well.  These jewelry trays have a small bowl for rings and earrings.

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However, my pottery instructor says they make her crave sushi!  Hey that can’t be entirely bad. They’ll be multi-purpose!

I have oh so many ideas for both jewelry and vessels… you’ll have to stay tuned to watch the progression.

 I BETTER GET CRANKING!!!

Birds in the Shadows

_a2015-08-13 17.08.34Birds in the Shadows  – acrylic and charcoal on canvas 24 x 48 inches

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I named this painting “Birds in the Shadows” because when you see the painting in person, the birds are the last thing you actually see.

I did this on purpose.

When you’re looking out a window you see the ground, the trees, the sky.  Right?  Your brain simply interprets the key objects and filters everything else out. However, the longer you stare and the more conscious your observation, you begin to see the entire window’s view alive and moving.  I can’t tell you how many times I wait that extra 2-3 minutes and then I sit in amazement.  There are sometimes 20-50 little sparrows on the lawn which were there the entire time and my mind filtered them out.

I know many people close to me that would say “Yeah, how nice you spend your days in la-la land staring out your window… some of us work you know, some of us have real jobs, some of us can’t afford that luxury…”  Boy I am plagued by this.  I’m sent this message daily by my society and even by those near and dear to my heart.  Somehow I am the weirdo-dreamer because I observe what is actually there and try to remind people of it?   But darling humans around me, could it be that YOU are the ones in la-la land as you sit for hours right by the window not looking out because your hand-held device is the only thing that captures your attention?

You have no time for these frivolities?   Could it be your free time is lacking in abundance because you are pressing little buttons accumulating points from little games on your phones?  Do you need to sit and watch on a screen what someone you haven’t seen in 13 years is doing in Milwaukee instead of sitting and watching the real world right outside your window?

Just shut up. Stop it. Put it down and frigging listen.

There is wind rustling through the trees right outside your window. No really. Turn off your AC and open the window, you’ll hear it.  I swear!  There’s squirrels fighting over territory, blackbirds filling up the trees, sunlight warming up that patch of earth over there and the smell of berries rotting in the vines.  Every day and it’s free, well It’s free right now anyway…

You are right, some of you are not “affording” the luxury and you do appear to have way more to show for yourselves than I.  Go ahead and call me the weirdo-dreamer.

Why do artists paint pretty pictures?   Why do they so often choose the simplest of subject matter?  It’s to remind people of the beauty in the everyday. In all of the minutia that many filter out and no longer see.   Yes to us “freaks” everything in the everyday world is simply mind-blowing :)

Artists are not the dreamers, you are the ones in a dream state.  I’d say artists are the observers.  They are very alert and very awake. They are the ones paying attention to the things the world forgets or are considered less important.

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Yep. That’s what I’m thinking while I paint pretty pictures of little birdies  -Pure piss and vinegar!!!  

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Ok. so where was I before I flipped out on my blogosphere public? Sorry about that digression. I mean who’s really reading this blog anyways…    Mom are you there? You are at least reading these posts right Mom? Ahh… Mom???

Oh yes right…. the progression of my painting…

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Love you all ;) daydream a little!

Seeds in the Wind

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Seeds in the Wind   acrylic painting on canvas 24″ x 36″

The progression:

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This painting was tough.  I kept bringing it home finished and then taking it back to my studio because it didn’t feel right.

I wanted to capture movement through translucency and it definitely took layer after layer after layer, but in its final stage I like that there are some seeds far back and some up close.

My paintings are still a bit congested.  No breathing or quiet space.  I am going to switch hats and work on jewelry for a few months. I’m hoping the time away from painting will allow my brain to process and when I come back I will subconsciously be able to make the changes I want to make.

I still have quite a few paintings to show though, so don’t go anywhere!

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Angels Among Us  -acrylic & charcoal on 300 lb cold press paper 22″x30″ inches

So let’s see how this painting got started…

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Like the famous Rorschach ink blot tests, you can interpret lines and marks in a myriad of ways.  I personally saw a wing to the bottom right and went from there! Random strokes of lilac caught my eye as well and I saw more wings.

I see wings – I associate angels

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I see angels – I associate bows an arrows

Now this is where my cousin Liz  says “Wha -Wha- What? How do you get bows and arrows from angels?”

Well duh, the most famous angel?  Cupid???   …. Of course this makes perfect sense… to me ;)

I also drew in some xxoo’s which equal love.  Perfect Cupid sense if I say so myself! There’s also a little planetary/cosmos action which is aligned with my constant quest to understand the spiritual world around me.

This painting turned out bright and airy and it keeps one looking for the mystical and weird which is right up my alley. It’s a perfect psychological bundle of the inner workings of my mind.