I’m having so much fun with building this garden. It’s taken several years. The creative process brings joy.
Birthdays are not a given…I am so enjoying my garden this year…Gratitude.
Richard and I have experienced a tectonic shift in our lives. There was the life before our house fire on November 10, 2017. The fire wiped away what once was...as it purged a significant part of what was our home. Subsequently, we have relocated to a rental property that we own in, Beacon, NY. As our house in Shawangunk needs serious renovations. Still, we are grateful for God's grace, as we are reminded of what is real and what is most valuable in this world.
This Christmas, New Year's Eve and New Year Day, I provided companionship and family support at the Kaplan Family Hospice Residence, where I am a certified hospice volunteer. I've been sitting quietly with precious souls who are transitioning from this world. It is an honor to hold their hand, read, talk and to pray for them and their families. In those moments time ceases to exist, as I am experiences what is deeply human, yet super natural: our breath. We are breathing life and death in every inhalation and exhalation...And at any moment, our breath could stop...Peace.
I am so grateful for what this volunteer opportunity has brought to my life. It is a tremendous honor to serve this way. It certainly helps to keep my own life and sense of loss in perspective.
I've also joined the new cohort of volunteers for Meals on Wheels of Greater Newburgh. I will work a weekly 2 hour shift delivering meals to elders. I will write more about that experience in the coming days.
For now, I'm getting ready to leave for hospice.
Happy Blessed New Year!
I'm making recycled art necklaces for the first time. This series centers on vintage 45s.
Records are imbued with emotional context. They are tactile memories. Records were once prized possessions; and the records we bought bared Wittness to our souls. Our record collection told our friends and neighbors who we were and what was important to us. The records we owned screamed our defiance and our core nature.
In this series of mixed media art necklaces, I've combined vintage 45s with old accounting ledger board. The resulting bib necklaces are surprising to me. Suddenly, I see math. Math is beautiful! Numbers are ancient and creative. Putting it all on the record is a bold statement, too. (Pun intended.)
Pencils, also have their unique place within our sense memories...Do you remember the first time you held a pencil? for the human species, the pencil is the undisputed tool that carries us into literacy. To command a pencil, is to think, exist and be counted on this earth. Pencils are powerful.
I'm excited for where this recycled necklace series will take me.
Richard and I were honored to have been among the invited artists for the Marist College Ethical Fashion Fair 2017.
The Marist College Ethical Fashion Fair was a unique opportunity to engaged with Marist fashion majors, along with the greater student body and faculty. Conversations were lively. I made a point of asking each student and faculty member about themselves, when they approached my table to browse. Subsequently, we benefited from exchanging authentic personal points of view. I wasn't just there to sell. My interactions were intentionally meaningful and beyond transactional.
As artists who live and work green, it was a pleasure to share our sustainable wearables with the Marist College community. Richard and I enjoy the smiles and 'aha' moments as our ingenuity sparks curiosity in those who encounter our recycled works. Marist College students plan and run the entire event. They should be commended for their hard work and dedication to exposing the Marist campus to sustainable culture through fashion. Richard's recycled truck tire rubber bags and belts, made people think. My old record necklaces inspired conversations about recycling plastic materials for art in a non toxic way.
The sustainable works on display made an impression. Shopping sustainably can turn one away from blind/thoughtless consumerism, while leading toward connecting what we wear directly to individuals who make; while also celebrating the beauty of narrative based cruelty free remnants and legacies.
I've just returned home from a marvelous and deep weekend spent with my mother and sister. They allowed me to photograph them for my project. Photographing people whom I have an intimate connection with, is becoming one the most profound artistic experiences I've ever embarked upon.
I drove many miles completely out of my way to shoot this tree. It changes so much daily. I was lucky to catch it in full flame, the other day. Today, there are washes of pink mixed with deep Burgundy...This old piece of glass is bringing me so much joy. Loving my vintage Nikon lens! I can hardly contain myself. #gratitude
12 miles around the lake. Omg...The trails are much more challenging than the road. The gravel gives drag and resistance. And the rock scrambles had me staying especially alert and on my toes. There were not that many folks out there which was awesome because I was able to ride hard and push myself. I loved the absence of cars. Being in nature on my MTB was sublime. The trails are challenging on the MTB, as there are lots of steep hills. I'm looking forward toward riding through winter.
I ran 4 miles around lake last Saturday. That was my first run in 6 months. My knees felt awesome. I'm not feeling any residual pain. I feel healed; the runners knee is behind me. However, I am going to stay on the bike, for now. I'm having so much fun. Gratitude.
What an amazing day. I got to view, learn and photograph some of the most majestic birds of prey who reside in New York State. Unfortunately, so much of their habitat is being destroyed by us.
Vintage lens attached to an old camera body, opens a whole new world and way of seeing. I'm in love with my old Nikon lens.
I've been experimenting with lenses. I'm in love with this vintage Nikon AI-S 35-135mm f/3.5-4.5. It's circa 80s and is manual focus on my old Nikon D40X. The bokeh is outrageous!
Yesterday, I biked down a steep hill at 30mph, for the first time...I felt a sick kind of exhilaration afterward...I don't think I'm going to do that again...
In the meantime, I'm also having fun with my new Nikon 85mm f/1.8G lens. It's mounted on my old Nikon D40X, which I bought new when it first came out in 2007. I've graduated to investing in better glass for my camera. So, I'm working on building my palette of lenses before I move into a new camera. I've been researching Nikon's current options for dslr cameras...I feel myself settling in on the D750.
All of my technology crashed over the summer. My 2011 iMac crashed at the beginning of July; then my iPad, then my iPhone... Will write more about that experience later.
For now, I feel the need to share my photography process. I've been taking digital photography courses at SUNY Dutchess. Right now, I'm taking a photojournalism course with Professor Lowell Handler. I'm learning so much, as I am delving deeper into incorporating digital storytelling into my artworks. Life-long-learning is where it's at...
Summer peonies through the 85MM lens I rented from borrowlenses.com. Really enjoying this process and all that I am learning.
I'm in the midst of taking a digital photography summer session course at the Duchess County Community College. I am learning so much, as I am gaining an appreciation for the technical aspects of taking good photographs. I am taking tons of photos; while experiencing much failure and many mistakes. That's the creative process. This is my first experience with shooting raw files, manual focus and tripod usage. This photograph was special, as it was my first time having the cows come over to me. This cow tried to lick my lens!
Richard helped me to deliver the interactive mosaic cube that I created for Stamford, CT's upcoming Art Shapes! outdoor sculpture exhibition produced by Stamford Downtown Art in Public Spaces. Opening June 17 thru August 14, 2017. The shapes will be auctioned off in October. Honored and excited to have my work chosen for one of Stamford's signature exhibitions.
May mother adores her giant hosta. She goes to great lengths to protect it from the deer buffet. Nonetheless, the deer always win the end...They will eventually have the most beautiful bountiful dessert by end of summer. Gratitude. Impermanence.
So very honored to have my outdoor sculpture design I am Love sponsored for Stamford Downtown: Art Shapes 2017.
The I am Love. design is a three dimensional cube covered on four sides with recycled stained glass and mirror mosaicked heart-shaped wings.The large glittery and colorful concentric hearts are evocative of butterfly wings.
My intention is to create the I am Love. heart-shaped butterfly wings as an interactive public artwork. The whimsical and familiar nature of the heart-shaped wings will compel children and adults to make themselves a part of the mosaicked artwork. Resulting photos and selfies will reveal the heart-shaped butterfly wings as magical fluttering extensions of the individuals who stand in front of them. The words I am Love. will glitter above their heads.
My I am Love. design is inspired by the heart shape. The heart shape is associated with love, passion and kindness. The heart-shape makes us happy when we see it. My intention with this artwork is to bring some warmheartedness to the public square, while inspiring love and kindness with the heart-shaped wings.
In April, I will begin hospice volunteer training at the Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties Inc., I will write about my experience. My artwork and life's work are merging. Gratitude.