Friday, May 30, 2008

Back in the Groove, Finally

I am almost done with this stupid bronchitis.....took all the antibiotics, and then broke out into some sort of strange rash with all-over body itching that drove me crazy. So then I was on Benedryl which put me to sleep...finally I am no longer itching, no longer sleeping most of the day and almost not coughing.

I even spent the day, for the first time in three weeks, down at the studio working. And then came home and worked some more. The only thing that has kept my sane was working on collages.

Anyway, here are some pictures from the opening night of the show at the Adobe Art Center. Below are three of the larger pieces I have just done.

A small group, one of which sold that night.
A couple of Marion's pieces:
some more of mine....they are mounted on unprimed stretched canvas:
Marion and me...
another one of Marion's
and another one:
and two more of mine:
and two more:
and the smaller ones:
and California Dreaming:
My daughter and Jacob:
people chatting:
More people chatting:
some of Sue's work:
I went home half an hour before the reception ended as I was just really sick.

Tomorrow I will finally get to do some machine quilting demonstrations as artist-in-residence at a local gallery for a couple of hours. I was supposed to do it each Saturday this past month but have been way too sick to do so....

well, onward and upward! I have work to do!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Things are Happening

I received word the other day that my piece, Fargo, has been accepted into the special display of film quilts for the Long Beach Festival.

I also received a picture of my piece, Life Circles 2, from the show, Artist as Quiltmaker in Oberlin, OH. The grand opening was this past weekend.And here is a picture of part of the crowd that was there.

Well, tomorrow Marion Coleman, Susanne Scott and I open at the Adobe Gallery...will post pictures of that on Friday. Wish us luck and I hope to see some of you there!

Monday, May 19, 2008

On Dreams and Dreaming

I have always had a very rich dream life. At one point when I was a probation officer and had 7 teenagers in juvenile hall for homicides, my dreams were very disturbed, dark and unpleasant but they served a purpose. I was able to work out various feelings that I had...sometimes against the perpetrators whom I was to get to know and write about what they did and why. Things that I could not give voice to came out in my dreams. I would frequently remember them in great detail.

I always know when creativity is at it's best because my dreams start becoming very vivid. I am practically producing movies in my sleep. They become long, convoluted stories. If I am not happy with the way things are coming out, I seem to come up a level in consciousness, realize I am not pleased with the way things are going, and then drop back down to resolve the story in a more pleasing manner.

When I was at UC ( as a psych. student we had to be guinea pigs for graduate students) I found out that I had the ability to retrieve dreams on successive nights. I have several different locations that repeatedly come up in my dreams. These are not real places but they might as well be as they have become embedded in my thoughts. A house on a street, with great detail, about the streets around it, how to get to it, what the entry way is like, the four different living areas, the strange kitchen that had huge old appliances and a strange basement with various little rooms that I was trying to figure out how best to use. I can still describe in great detail the various living areas, including the downstairs beauty parlor and spa. I can describe the bathtubs, tiles, etc.

And then I have action movies. Very involved stories that would rival Frances Coppola...vivid, detailed and interesting.

Sometimes I have dreams about resolving issues in my art. A clear image of how to do something. A clear sense of where I need to go with an idea. A way of completing a piece of art. How to construct something. In my dreams I will go through the entire process of creating a piece of art, troubleshooting as I go.

I know when I am healthy because my world becomes enriched by all this dream activity. I am very fortunate that I am able to remember at least the basic ideas and sometimes much more from these episodes.

I have been having lots of dreams lately....

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Barely Going

This entire week has been enforced rest....I have a very difficult time doing nothing, and I haven't felt up to reading, and TV gets tiring immediately. I move from the recliner to the bed to my know I really don't feel well when I don't even play solitaire on the computer...

I have barely been able to keep up with my class and will be starting critiques today.

And to top it off, we are in a real heat wave...last week it was in the high 60's and now it is in the high 90's.

I don't do sick very well and I really don't do heat well.

Thank goodness for friends and family...between my husband and my good friend Carol Suto, I got everything off for the show for next is right here in town. After we got it all together, inventoried, etc and delivered, I came home and collapsed.

What has been interesting is that I find myself free associating all over the place. My mind has problems focusing so when I lay my body down to rest, my mind just goes from one subject to another. Sometimes this is really creative and I am spinning involved stories, other times flashes of brilliance in art, etc. Unfortunately, I can't get up the energy to write any of it down. So I let my mind wander.

For someone who needed to be in control all of the time, and has now moved to being extremely comfortable staying in her right brain for extended periods of time...this is really strange...interesting...but strange. Well, I guess I have to go lie down again so I can find out what my mind will come up with next...

I am starting to feel better, I don't cough as much and not as hard, but there is no energy anywhere in my body. I have a shower and have to rest afterward....Oh well....I will get there yet!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I am Still Alive!

The drive back from Cambria took a lot out of me. Being sick is not fun. I hit the bed when I got home and did nothing. Finally on Monday I faced the music that I wasn't getting any better and shortness of breath and chest pains sent me to get checked out for any heart problems (none) but also to a doctor who listened to my lungs.

For the first time in my life I have come down with bronchitis. At least that is something that will respond to medication and I have been put on a round of antibiotics along with an inhaler to help open my lungs. This is not fun! I have things to do!

Well, during the night when I woke up coughing and needing to go to the bathroom, I realized that I was doing better...

I work up this morning knowing I was still happy to be alive and that the world was not going to end with me in bed or on the lounge chair in front of the stupid tv.

So, with guarded energy, I will get work together for a show I am doing with two other very talented women, Marion Coleman and Sue Scott. I tried to sew pieces to my unprimed canvas but only got four that every slow.

So, today, back to needle and thread, get some wire for hanging, pull quilts for the show, be sure I have all the hanging slats and make that list to take in tomorrow...that should wear me out pretty soon.

My on line class has started up again with 11 students. This is a very workable size for me. I certainly never want to go past 20 as that is just way too much work.

Oh well, back to the grinding stone with lots of rest periods...

Friday, May 09, 2008

The Drive Home

Leaving Cambria, I had two choices...returning via a short connector road to US101 or going up US 1. I let the navigating system tell me which way to go...I went up 1 which is a curvy, winding road along the beautiful coast. Not really a good idea since I was not feeling very well. I had to stop several times to just rest and at one point pulled along side the road and had a quick 20 minute nap. Needless to say, the drive was much longer and harder than going back up 101.

But I would not have seen these fellows practicing for the big time!

Young bull elephant can tell they are young because their nose is not all bulbous and their bodies aren't all scarred. They duke it out for mating rights but if I remember correctly, these young guys won't have a change when the big guys come's like a light-weight fighter versus a huge sumo wrestler!

this one got a nip in....

Facing off with lots and lots of noise
there were about seven or eight right in this immediate area and they would take turns with each other....

Heart and Hand Retreat with Sandy Turner

Yesterday I returned home from Cambria, which is just a little north of San Luis Obispo. I had driven down on Sunday where I joined Sandy's retreat. There were four teachers and we had a grand time!

I had eight wonderful students in my class, Better Art by Design. I was a slave driver and made them create masterpieces in just minutes! They moaned, and they groaned, but they all did it.
We had a delightful three days working on the elements and principles of design. Half of one day was spent just on color. Each day they added more and more tools to their tool box. We finished up with the students doing the critiques so they could go back to their small groups and start something new for support. What fun!

Nancy with her board:
Sue with her board:

Joyce with her board:

Ann with her board:
Christine with her board:
Eileen with her board:
Joan with her board:
Lora with her board:
And then pictures of the two groups doing their critiques!
This class very graciously put up with my cold....I have had a return of the monster cold which I had in January and Feb. which lasted a month. I am now entering my third week of this...of course driving for two days and teaching for three days did not help...I came home and collapsed in bed...But they put up with my coughing and coughing! Thank you all!

Over $13,000 Raised!

Collage Mania started on Monday and closed on Tuesday. I am so happy to report that my ten collages earned $880 for the American Cancer Society through Collage Mania! What a great way to support a great cause!

I can hardly wait to see what Virginia comes up with next!

Sunday, May 04, 2008


tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow is only a day away...

Collage mania!!! Here we come!!!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Only 2 More Days

Only 2 more days to Collage Mania...

Since I will be in Cambria teaching a class, I spent today looking at the 21 pages of collages and made my list.

Oh no----my list has 14 pieces on it....I can't afford that much at $80 each...that is the first day.

But then, if I don't bid on them the first day at $80, who knows what will be left the next day at $40?

What am I going to do?

I had already figured that I would get the email all ready to go to Virginia Spiegel and save it in my drafts folder.

But 14 pieces?

Of course I have no idea if I will get all 14 or just a few, or lots of them. I have no way of determining how many I will get and ultimately, how much it is going to cost me. This is the second biggest cause I give to and I have supported the American Cancer Society for years.

So, why doesn't everyone tell me which ones they are bidding for and then I will know which ones I will get...oh dear, that doesn't make sense!

I had better figure this one out! Quick!