Monday, December 28, 2009

Be Still My Beating Heart...

A drive to Raleigh with Luna to take advantage of Jerry's sale this morning. If you are not a "color geek," you may not have experienced the goose bumps associated with discovering Golden's Pyrole Orange on sale. I am a color geek! And I love Jerry's annual sale!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

"Pile of Sadness"

Renee came in to my studio this afternoon and asked if she could move my "pile of sadness" to the floor so that she could sit and visit for a few minutes. I replied, "Of course, Renee. I am sorry that I left my clean, but unfolded laundry on the chair. Unfolded laundry, while a constant in my home, is a pile of sadness that begs to be folded and put away. Please move it and make yourself comfortable." Renee replied, "No, Mom. I am referring to the stack of books on the wicker ottoman." I replied, "I don't know what you mean, Renee. These are books that I am reading for the service learning classes that I will be facilitating this semester. These are books of hope, not sadness!" Renee refuted, "How can books about poverty, homelessness, hunger, and racism be books of hope?" In my infinite wisdom, I replied, "Darling, awareness of the social issue is step one in participating in eliminating the issue."

How's Lucky Adjusting to His New Home?

Seems pretty comfortable so far!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wrapping Paper and Ribbons

Unwrapping gifts at Christmas at my house takes very little time! We are all excited to discover the gift inside the paper and ribbons. As I cleaned up the scattered and torn wrappings and bows under our Christmas tree yesterday morning, I wondered, who would have thought that the birth of a baby in a horse stable to an unwed teen and her fiance' would be a glorious gift to all of God's people? Really? What an unlikely package for such a gift. And yet, how like God to present us with something that appears to be a difficult situation; something awkward, hard, or unsavory.
In my life, God appears to delight in presenting me with the rough and unsightly packaging of gifts. This past year in particular, has been a year of gifts from God that have required trust and obedience. I have had to work hard to trust that the ugliness of a situation did indeed include the perfect gift. His gift giving is extravagant!
Every good action and every perfect gift is from God. These good gifts come down from the Creator of the sun, moon, and stars,who does not change like their shifting shadows.
James 1:17

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sweet Sixteen

Her last birthday party with friends was 6 years ago! Very sad, I know. Knowing that Renee would be celebrating her 'sweet sixteen' this December, I planned a surprise luncheon for her at Outback on Sunday. She was SO surprised! Happy Birthday, Renee.

Lucky Dog!

Our sweet dog, Addy, died suddenly this fall! We mourn her death and are so sad that she is no longer with us, however, we are so pleased to add a new puppy to our family. Meet Lucky. He is an 8 month old boxer surrended by his first owner to the Durham APS. Lucky is goofier than our other boxer, Samson! We love him.

Artist Statement

The purpose of an artist statement is to let the reader know the intent, context, and process behind the art work. Statements can be written in a number of formats but should always be clear and concise about what the work hopes to accomplish.. A statement should give the reader a sense of what your work is like before seen. Statements should be tailored to the specific purpose of the exhibition.

My artist statement for my latest exhibition, 'Looking to Nature' is heavily inspired by Ginger. The statement reads as follows:

I am passionate about color, pattern, and texture! My sense of sight craves rich, warm colors and my sense of touch delights in woven fabrics, fibers, and rough decorative papers. I also love narrative and the opportunity to visually share a story or express my thoughts and feelings. In sharing a story, thoughts or feelings, I am intrigued by the opportunity to visually reveal only a sliver of the story, enticing the viewer to wonder about the rest of it. Over the past few years, I have discovered that mixed media best communicates my ideas to the viewer.

It is the integration of materials that provides the excitement and challenge in collage. Working in the background, middle ground, and foreground all at once is thrilling! I am most pleased when I am able to pull shapes and patterns from the background and place them in the foreground, as well as when I am able to push elements from the foreground to the back of the piece. I approach each collage without specific decisions as to what element will appear in each plane of the piece. Elements float back and forth, forth and back, again and again. I incorporate drawn and photocopied images in my work, along with charcoal, soft pastels, acrylic inks and paint. My pieces are very much of the “kitchen sink variety,” evoking energy and enthusiasm.

My current exhibition, 'Looking to Nature,' draws upon a friendship of 35 years which ended tragically in March of this year when Virginia(Ginger) Sasser DeLacey, took her own life. She was my dear friend and college roommate, and unbeknownst to those of us who loved her, suffered from bouts of depression for many years. To us, Ginger was the light of the world, doing all things perfectly. She was smart, funny, and beautiful. She loved nature and spent her days effortlessly caring for her family, friends, and strangers. A year before she died, Ginger and her youngest daughter planted a community garden which they harvested for their local food bank in Chesapeake. This garden continues to flourish today and yet, Ginger is gone. I look back at our experiences together and realize that although she appeared to fully participate in a rich and full life, in reality she was merely an observer, unable to absorb the beauty that the world exuded. In my art, I try to imagine what it may have been like for my friend to live disconnected from the world around her. In my heart, I continue to grieve.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Looking to Nature...Durham Arts Council Opening

'Seeing,' mixed media, 24" x 36"
Minutes before the opening at the DAC show

'Reaching,' mixed media, 24" x 36"

'Room to Breathe,' mixed media, 24" x 18"

'Overtaken,' mixed media, 24" x 18"
'Over Her Head,' mixed media, 24" x 18"
'Nightshade: Premature,' mixed media, 11" x 14"

'Nightshade: Developmental Delay,' mixed media, 11" x 14"

'Nightshade: Failure to Thrive,' mixed media, 11" x 14"

'Nightshade: Undernourished,' mixed media, 11"x 14"

'In the Weeds,' mixed media, 18" x 24"

'In the Thick of it,' mixed media, 18" x 24"

'Glimpse,' mixed media, 24" x 18"
'Fresh Perspective,' mixed media, 11" x 14"

'Blooming,' mixed media, 18" x 24"
The opening reception for my solo exhibition on November 20 was good! In addition to be well-attended by friends and family, it was the first opening during which I wasn't desperate to run and hide in the corner. Art exhibitions are an excellent opportunity for an artist to show her work to the general public, however, this opportunity comes with heaping spoonfuls of vulnerability. But it was good this time! Thank you, friends and family.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


"GP and Bren-Bren" were here for the weekend and we so enjoyed our time together. Today, we walked a few trails at Eno River State Park. My father (my girls' grandpa) and Brenda, his wife of 20+ years (my good friend and excellent grandmother to my daughters) mean the world to us. We love you both!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Work in Progress...

DAC requests documentation of the artistic process of two pieces created for the exhibition. Above is the documentation for one of my newest pieces, although I have not completed it yet. I am close and hope to finish it tomorrow afternoon. I am now in phase three of the work that I will hang in 6+ weeks, meaning that "my story" is nearly complete. This weekend, I will write an artist statement, update an artist biography, and continue to make art. Postcards for the show have been ordered and will be mailed out next week. SO exciting!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Aidan and Leah

The two were born just short of 18 years apart and share a bond that knits them together forever. Leah and Aidan are incapable of seeing anyone else but each other in a crowded room, gazing at each other with identical eyes. Each year of Aidan's life, I have the privilege of celebrating their birthdays with Leah, Aidan, his adoptive parents and younger brother. The celebration reminds me of God's redemption and perfect plan for all of us.

Leah gave birth to Aidan 5 years ago tomorrow! I was with her every step of the way, weeping with her over her decision to let another family raise her son, but rejoicing in knowing that Kevin and Jana were designed by God to raise this precious baby boy.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:13-16

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Work and more Work!

Summer is definitely over! First week of school (all three days of it) went well. A few schedule glitches, but at the end of week one, most things are on track. We will graduate our first senior class this year which is quite exciting.
I was able to sneak into the studio for several hours this weekend and completed another piece for the DAC show in November. Yikes, the show hangs in a mere 8 weeks! Lots more to do to meet the deadline.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Late Summer in My Garden

The heat is unbearable these days. As I peer out from the windowsto my garden from the air-conditioned living areas of my home, I realize that the garden reflects me in the late summer! The garden and I are both hot, thirsty, tired, and disorganized. We all both longing for a cool drink of water and a long nap as the new school year begins. However, in the midst of this angst is beauty that doesn't surface until now. Black-eyed susans, night blooming daturas, and a zipper spider compete for my attention tonight at sunset.

New work!

I am on my way to producing the work for my show at the Durham Arts Council Exhibition in November. Way more to go...but I am excited!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

South Florida Wetlands

A great week in south Florida with my father! We visited two wetlands parks and the birds were spectacular. I hope that I can use some of these images in my new body of work.