Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Journaling for Justice


Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Martese Johnson, Walter Scott, Freddy Gray and the list goes on and on.  I will speak your names.  I will paint them.  I will pray for your families and for our world.  


(I will donate all proceeds from prints of this piece, entitled "Meditation on #blacklivesmatter" to Showing Up for Racial Justice.)

 I will be an interrupter.  I will demand justice.   Stencils used in this art journal page: 


Hebrew Calligraphy                          Hands                                      Five Hamsas
   


The translation of the Hebrew Stencil is: 

May the Lord bless and protect you:
May the light of The Lord shine upon you, and may the Lord be gracious to you:
May the Lord's presence be with you and give you peace.


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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Festive Soul Food Giveaway



I am so excited to announce that
 I will be teaching a class in Soulfood Festive 2015 
in September with
3 Head Chefs: Mystele Kirkeeng, Heather Santos and Jeanette House




and 8 other incredible Sous-Chefs !


Mystele, Heather and Jeannette gave us some questions to answer so here goes!  You can also watch my Festive Soul interview video on YouTube here


 Thank you again Mystele, Heather and Jeanette for inviting me to be a part of Festive Soul Food.  
I can't wait!

Class starts September 1 and registration opens August 1.
I´m planing a really fun lesson for this class and you won't want to miss it, believe me!


Mystele, Heather and Jeanette gave me the chance to giveaway one FREE spot!
To enter the giveaway please leave a comment below.  I'll be picking a winner on July 23.



UPDATE - the winner is Dee Spillane!   Congratulations!

Your comments make me so happy and let me know you were here. I read and treasure every comment and will happily answer any questions as soon as I can.

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Art Journaling with the July Stencil Club Stencils


I'm on the Stencil Girl blog today with step by step photos showing how I used the exclusive July Stencil Club Stencils in my art journal.  I hope you'll stop by!

Your comments make me so happy and let me know you were here. I read and treasure every comment and will happily answer any questions as soon as I can.


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Monday, June 29, 2015

Joy and Sadness, Hand in Hand


During the Passover Seder, we eat charoset and horseradish together to remind us that in times of sorrow there is joy, and in times of happiness, there is often sadness too. 

I had the immediate experience of this on Friday.  Freddie came home from a week away.  We were all set for a celebration dinner at Mishmish cafe - our favorite place. The Supreme Court decision declaring that the Constitution protects gay marriage gave us an extra reason to celebrate, and we went to dinner feeling festive and full of joy.  Mishmish was the perfect place -- just look at these desserts!

As we were enjoying them, I got a call from my dad.  As soon as I picked up the phone and heard his voice, I could tell something was wrong. Turns out that my cousin Alan had suddenly passed the night before (heart attack),  just shy of his 65th birthday.  


In a moment, my whole being went from feeling giddy with festive delight, to heavy with deep loss. My heart broke for my cousin Penny and cousin Jonathon, his brothers and my cousins Mark and Paul, and for my Aunt Helen, his mom.  

It is hard enough to lose a child.  But my Aunt Helen, 87,  is also taking care of my Aunt Ruth, her identical twin, who has advanced Alzheimer's Disease.  How could she bear this?  

We had planned to attend the Gay Pride parade on Sunday, and celebrate love in a way that would be exuberant and joyful.  But the funeral service and burial were on Sunday (Jewish law says that you bury or cremate the body within 24 hours, or in 48 if the Sabbath intervenes, as in Alan's case).  In my sorrow, I thought of the joy and exuberance of the pride parade, where many of my friends were celebrating. It gave me comfort to be reminded of that happiness in the midst of my family's sadness. 

I came home and painted.  Starting with a small 6 x 6" square canvas board (I've been loving the square substrate lately) I stenciled with the Hearts, Flowers and more stencil, using the colors of the rainbow on a on a yellow background.


I created a mask with one of the girls from the Jump for Joy stencil.  I did this by stenciling her image onto card stock, and then fussy cutting it out around her outline.  Then I placed it on my canvas, and used a cosmetic sponge to wipe turquoise blue from the center of the mask out onto the canvas.  I continued shading her, until it looked as though she was jumping out of her grief.  It was also a commemoration of the Supreme Court decision - a rainbow figure jumping out of darkness.

Soar, Joy, Love: 6 x 6 acrylic on canvas board.  $35 + $7 for shipping and handling

I added the words Joy, Soar and Love from the Jump for Joy stencil, and from the Teapot and Teacups stencil, and Happy Birthday Icons stencil.  

  
Though my heart is heavy with the grief that comes from losing someone you love and feeling others' pain, I console myself knowing that tomorrow will be brighter.

I highly recommend the movie "Inside Out."  It is a beautiful depiction of how joy and sadness must co-exist, to give us the richest experience of this fragile thing called life.



Your comments mean the world to me and I will answer any questions as soon as I can.  Thanks so much for stopping by.  If you would like to purchase this painting, please let me know. 

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

It's Hip to be Square



It's been a busy time since I last posted.  Samy graduated.   Then it was Father's Day...

and end of year celebrations.







Last week, the Charleston tragedy happened.  I had a canvas sitting around with bits and pieces of collage, and it turned into this meditation on despair and hope. I used my Doors & Windows stencil for the windows to memorialize Mother Emanuel.
Meditation on Charleston; acrylic on 8 x 8" canvas board; $45 + $7 shipping and handling

The canvas was a square, and I enjoyed working on that shape so much, that I pulled out some other half finished squares, which I had previously collaged with gelli prints.  I used Traci Bautista's Deconstructed Floral Bouquet stencil and my Six Point Starry Night Stencil to embellish this piece, entitled "It's In the Bag."

It's In the Bag: acrylic on 8 x 8" canvas board; $45 + $7 shipping and handling

My Teapot and Teacups Stencil, and Garden Flowers and Leaves Outlined Stencil played together for this celebration of friendship over tea.

For the Love of Tea: acrylic on 6 x 6" canvas board; $35 + $7 shipping and handling

I created this piece using Traci's Deconstructed Bouquet stencil, and my Flowers, Pomegranates and Leaves Stencil.

Bloom Big; acrylic on 8 x 8" on watercolor paper mounted on canvas board; $45 + $7 shipping and handling
I've created an art gallery on my Facebook page, where all of these pieces will be available for purchase.  I hope you'll visit my page and give it a "like."

Or let me know in the comments below if you would like to purchase one of these pieces!

Your comments make me so happy and let me know you were here. I read and treasure every comment and will happily answer any questions as soon as I can.

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Handmade Graduation Banners


For the past four years, my younger daughter Samy has been in a small, progressive, project based private school called the Montclair Co-op.  Yesterday was graduation from this magical, supportive place that enabled her to embrace the exuberant, caring, empathetic, inquisitive person she is.
I was head of the committee to decorate the gym.  Every year, the decor committee does something uniquely personal for that graduating class.  Inspired by the banners I've created for my home, the committee created a banner for each student...

and each of the upper school teachers, using print outs of symbols representing each one of them, fabric, and, of course, lots of Stencil Girl stencils and Rubbermoon Stamps!
Freddie and I wove twine in a crazy zig zag through the rafters, and suspended the banners with clothespins.  All of the students in grades 1 - 7 wrote messages on strips of fabric, which we attached to the banners.  Augmented by some store bought fiesta decorations and holiday lights, the gym was so festive.
The kids and teachers loved their personalized banners, and it was certainly a different take on graduation decor!

What do you think of our crazy graduation decorations?

Your comments make me so happy and let me know you were here. I read and treasure every comment and will happily answer any questions as soon as I can.


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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Doors Close and Doors Open



Welcome the closing of an old door, for it is then that a new door shall open.  Scottie Somers. 


I had the most amazing weekend.  It was the 40th anniversary of the High School of Performing Arts, class of 1975.  Though I graduated in '76, so many of the '75 class were close friends.  So I went to the reunion.

Ned Eisenberg and me in front of our former school.
If you've never heard of Performing Arts, or "P.A." as we called it, it is the magical place beautifully memorialized in the original "Fame" movie.  In fact, the character of Doris was an amalgam of various students in the school, one of which was me!  Like Doris, I sang at my audition even though the school did not have a singing department at the time.  (Unlike Doris, my mother was not present!)


Like Doris, I was a sheltered girl whose life and perspective were cracked open by this amazing place.  I had grown up relatively sheltered and affluent in a brownstone in Park Slope, Brooklyn.  At P.A., I made friends with people from every single background and neighborhood that NYC had to offer.  My best friends were a girl from a railroad apartment in Astoria, Queens, and a boy from East Harlem.  

  with Daryl Edwards, my brother from another mother.
My girl-friend's fire escape looked out over Ditmars Boulevard, where her friends hung out at at night at the Carvel across the street, and where there was a Woolworth Store - which was more exciting for me than a candy store!  Starting in my junior year (and continuing part way through college), I dated someone from the South Bronx, whose mother was a former Black Panther member and wouldn't let me in their apartment.  No matter - we were all united by our art.

P.A. has lots of famous graduates, including Ben Vereen and Priscilla Lopez, who were both there.



You can see my friends Daryl Edwards in Daredevil, among many other movies and commercials, and Ned Eisenberg on Law & Order, NCIS and on Broadway.  Scarlett De Bease is a successful image stylist; following stints on Broadway and film, Denise Woods is a vocal coach to the stars; Kenya Cagle is a film producer, and more.  The best thing about this get together was seeing the love that has lasted all these years.   Whether continuing in the performing arts or not, everyone is leading interesting lives, still full of creativity and sparkle.  I am 100% certain these people and my experience at this school completely changed my life.


I came home full of inspiration and energy, and completed an art journal page.  Here's how it started and the stages it went through.




Until it ended up like this.



Welcome the closing of an old door, for it is then that a new door shall open.  Scottie Somers.

Thank you Performing Arts and all of the wonderful people who crossed my path.  You opened more doors for me than you will ever know.

(Supplies used include Golden Fluid Acrylic Paints, and the Doors and Windows & Ganesh Stencils from Stencil Girl Products. )"

What experiences transformed your life?  

Your comments make me so happy and let me know you were here. I read and treasure every comment and will happily answer any questions as soon as I can.

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