Archive for the ‘another tendril’ Category

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the SWEET smell of Success!

January 22, 2011

I have had so much to say, so much to report but have been totally unable to gain access to my blog.  It’s a minor issue with my Google account; they took exception to me turning my cookies off, but I turned them back on again-honest!!   No matter what I do, however, Google won’t accept that fact and has been refusing me entry into their hallowed halls.

Then I remembered my laptop–YES my settings were untouched…!  So here I am again.  Lots to tell, lots to talk about, lots to share.  Dreams, adventures, and hopes all mixed together so thick it makes my head spin.

Life has been a merry-go-round whirl, a roller coaster ride for sure.  I won’t go into too many details all at once, but over time will share it all, no fear.  For right now, a brief outline:

Jewelry-Very successful! A wonderful show in Florida, great gallery sales, now I’m actively seeking more galleries in other areas of the country.

Work:  new career (but I don’t WANT a career!!) that I can love that entails writing / travel / photography, almost like I’ve always dreamed of. 

Home-life:  not too much change there yet, but pending.  Dad is about to join mom in the nursing home…I’ve done my best for the past 2+ years to keep him going independently, but it’s been so hard on them to be separated and now he’s needing more care than I can give him.  They are looking forward to being reunited. 

So–Pending freedom for me, both emotional and actual, as I will be set loose and  need to move out of this 80 degree bedroom  and back into my poor abandoned home.  I don’t intend to be there forever, just long enough to fix it up and Move On. 

A brand new grandbaby, and another one due in about 4 months.  The ties that bind are strong-this would be the only thing to keep me here anymore.

Well, back to work…i have another ad to create and an article to write.  No rest, you know… guess I’ll shut up now.

-JM-

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Magically Delicious!

May 13, 2010

I love things that fill me with wonder: fireworks, icy frozen trees in that blue light of pre-dawn that looks like fairyland, the concrete lace of the watts towers like I mentioned before…

Seeing one of Dale Chihuly’s glass installation was one of those magical experiences. I remember catching a PBS special on him and his work.  To see his exuberance and larger-than-life presence–I was fascinated.  He was so alive and I loved that he was dressed in bright yellow pants and a turquoise shirt!

He was so immersed in his art, and confident; he knew just what he wanted to do. To watch him create his glass was a thrill but strangely enough, it was watching him paint his studies that truly freed me for a time. His large arm movements and sweeping gestures, his generous splatters and squirts of large paint tubes…and in mere minutes, he had painted plans of a new piece of glass art.  As abstract as they are, there is no question of what they are to be:

I was lucky enough to see a couple of his installations over the past few years. The last one was at the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh a couple years ago and if you ever get the chance, be sure to see it at night-that’s when the magic happens! I’d seen the Franklin Conservatory in Chicago and, as wonderful as it was, there was no comparing the two.

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His art is surreal and organic…it looks totally as if it could have been growing there, yet like nothing you’ve ever seen. His creations are so fantastical and unique, and he obviously has such a joy in creating–just like what I imagine God must have had when he created the many different species of wildlife…in fact, I have the same feeling of wonder looking at his art as I do when I see pictures of a coral reef filled with all the strange varieties of fish.

I would like to be able to create like that!  To have such a joy in the doing, such confidence and sureness. To not sit and agonize over every little speck but to splat and splotch and dump and smear and just totally make a mess but with a vision so strong that it’s impossible to deny.

Sigh….. 🙂  Ok, I’ll shut up now!

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Forgetting What is Behind and Straining toward What is Ahead

May 11, 2010

Today is my wedding anniversary.  18 years on paper, yet separated the past 4 1/2 years. 

What hurts the most is the waste, the senselessness of it all.  It’s so sad to see a childhood filled with pain, confusion and anger, buried for years, now surface and come back to haunt and to hurt and to destroy taking down as casualties not only him, but us, our union, our marriage…and there’s nothing I can do about it.

I would have stood by him, fought with him, fought for him, but he wanted none of it.  He wanted out, he wanted to be alone, he wanted to deal with this himself. 

I’ve gone the gamut of unbelief, thinking I could wait it out and all would be well again; the pain of betrayal as he sought help and relief from another; hope as he realized that wasn’t the answer; and acceptance as I realize he still isn’t ready and may never be.

I’ve learned that life goes on, that God gives you strength and meaning again, that although He hates what happened, He will and did bring me through the valley and He’s wanting to do the same for my husband if only he’d let Him.  God didn’t cause my husband’s pain, or our marriage to fail, but He could heal and help us to go on, stronger than ever if we would give Him the chance.  Since that won’t be, my prayer is that my husband will find his own way to the only One who can give him the strength, understanding and acceptance that he needs. 

I’ve learned to move on, to find hope again, to find a purpose and reason to let go.  I have learned to respect and accept his decision, even knowing its the wrong one, but it is what it is.  I am now ready to let go.  I’ve always been a dreamer and, for a short time, my dreams were dimmed but now they are popping up all around me again, calling me to come on, come higher up.

I’ve made my peace, now he needs to make his.

fractured heart

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Vintage Waters

May 11, 2010

The other day I was driving on the freeway along Lake Erie.  It looked so misty and still, like a whisper. 

I was coming from shooting a First Communion in Willoughby, a town about 20 min east of Cleveland.  I used to work at a quilt shop out there, and would make this same drive 4-5 times a week and I always loved seeing the water in its many moods…dreamy, sunny, angry, gentle,  sullen, and even solidly frozen.  Back then I didn’t have a camera handy…but now I do so I pulled off the exit, fired off a few shots, got back in the car and continued on my way to my other photo job shooting at the stadium.  It took all of maybe 3 minutes, less time than I spent in Photoshop filtering the picture:

lighthouse

 I love vintage looking photos.  They always seemed to be of simple subjects, as if all of our daily lives were worthy of recording.  And they are soft and slightly tattered at times, just like our memories.   Everything today is so sharp and harsh-and LOUD…hi def TV, super saturated pictures, loud noise and music, and talk radio.  It pounds on our senses, intrudes and takes over our thoughts, clammering for our attention.             

Sometimes you just need to kick back, lay in the tall grass and look at the clouds, letting your mind drift on the currents to wherever it wants to go.

Water is good for that, for letting our hearts meditate.  The soft murmuring of a stream or the dull crashing of waves, rhythmic and hypnotic, lets our thoughts wander wherever without any effort on our part.  Daydreams,   hare-brained ideas,  visions and what-ifs—things that, once we put them into action others will call creative.  We come away refreshed and ready to work again.  And so, even though I took this picture a week ago and today is cold and windy, I still feel refreshed and ready to start working again.

And about time.

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Word for the Week: Curiouser

April 29, 2010

It was one of those visits to Half-Priced Book Store where I’d go to spend the afternoon seeking anything that would catch my fancy, from architecture to travel to needlework to design to gardening to photography…wandering from section to section looking for a cover or a title that would pique my curiosity. I never knew what would trigger it, sometimes a book on Mexican decor, sometimes some obscure vintage needlework design.    Once it was a book on the Watts Towers in Los Angeles. 

 

 Simon Rodia is one of those people who had a vision and wanted to create something greater than himself, something that would last long after he was gone. 

You might not have ever heard of him, but he created those towers single -handedly with nothing more than concrete and a bucket of  whatever he could find: shells, broken tiles, broken dishes, glass bottles.   

And when he was done, he was finished with it–he just walked away from it all, never to return. 

The amazing thing is, years later, the city of Los Angeles declared them dangerous and an eyesore-they wanted them pulled down.  People rallied around the towers and a deal was struck-if the city could prove the towers unsafe, then down they’d come.  BUT, no matter how much stress they put on them, no matter how hard they pushed with their bulldozers, the towers never budged! 

Simon Rodia, all by himself, built something so strong it couldn’t be torn down by any means-and this in LA, the earthquake center of the country.  If only he was here to teach our city engineers a thing or two about construction!

 

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Not long after that, I found the Magic Garden’s of Isaiah Zagar…so far, I’ve just read about them online (http://www.philadelphiasmagicgardens.org/) but I plan on going there this summer.  It’s not that far from West Reading and Lancaster where I did visit last month, and there’s the coolest, coolest shop in West Reading called the Curious Consignment-  

But that’s for another day…

OK, I’ll shut up now.

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Another Bridge…part 1

April 28, 2010

bridge   [brij]  noun, verb,bridged, bridg·ing, adj  –noun

1. a structure spanning and providing passage over a river, chasm, road, or the  like.                    or,

2. a connecting, transitional, or intermediate route or phase between two adjacent elements, activities, conditions, or the like.

I think of Life as made up of a series of bridges that are connected by islands of being.  The islands are solid, stable–what we’ve become;  and the bridges are our growing–fluid, changing, in a state of becoming.   That’s my philosophical thought for today.

I started out years ago doing patchwork and quilting in a rather traditional way…I had my reasons,  but I soon found I got so tired of a pattern after just a couple of them and seldom could I complete an entire bed quilt of 25-48 blocks…I was lucky to be able to finish a baby quilt.  So I concentrated on making wall quilts, which was a lot better.  I started collaging in fabric, creating a series I called “Wish I Were Here”:

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 I love traveling, going someplace new and seeing it with that heightened awareness being in a new place brings.  You can catch details and patterns you have a tendency to miss once a place becomes familiar and I want to capture as much of that as I can-especially since my time in this area is limited.   I hurry out before sunrise just to see the golden pink glow the sun casts on everything in those first few moments and keep going until I can sit and gaze at the stars in the peace of night.

Once I’m home again, I study the photos I’ve taken and find what meshes with my memories and the details I remember.  These are what become part of my artwork.

 

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Another Bridge…part 2

April 24, 2010

Soon I began to create my own fabric and I started a period that became the basis of my Urban Artifaks/fiber series.  These were loosely based on ancient stonework and other patterns or rhythms I observed and were hugely influenced by a couple cruises we took to Mexico and the Caribbean.  

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The fabric was my take on the way the weather wore through decades and layers of paint.  I dyed, painted, stamped, stenciled, bleached, and any other way I could abuse the fabric in layer after layer of color and pattern-I even used house paint and fingernail polish!

So now, I again stand on one side of a bridge looking at the other side and wondering…I’d like to learn to create collages using paper, fabric, paint, and maybe even encaustic with wax.  I love the complex patterns and depth they can create…like a journey within each composition.

And my mind is churning again…

OK, I’ll shup up now.