Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I have spent several days in a row working in my sketchbook preparing for the November exhibit at the StutzARTSpace Gallery entitled "Uncovered: Food for Thought". I have been trolling my old sketchbooks where, from time to time, I park my brain 1) to hold that idea, 2) to develop an old idea, 3) to play around with parts of old ideas, 4) to read old lists of things or series I was going to paint. These books are my treasures. Some ideas will never come to fruition, but some remind me that I had some good plans, but got distracted.

What has really caught my attention, though, are old class notes from my Herron days---not that long ago. Remember, I am a 2002 Herron grad, therefor a Young Painter. I poured over old class assignments from one of the best painting and drawing teachers in the universe-Mark Jacobson. The assignments are detailed and thoughtful and totally helpful today. Then there are the comments about many completed series. They remind me of my strengths and weaknesses, which, by the way, are what I regard as my strengths and weaknesses today - (although, I would like to think I have made a little bit of progress). Constantly, Mark was urging me to SEACH. Search for the line, search for the depth, take my time, search for the form, and pursue these things with a passion.

Mark writes, "Your work is strongest when you have gone through a process of wrestling with it and the effort of that struggle comes through in the works which are closer to your art spirit...I generally prefer the works which you fought harder for..."

I have definitely not lost my fighting spirit, but don't we all yearn for that critique from our old instructors and don't we all remember how much we learned from our fellow students? How do you find a substitute for those things? Who will notice whether you are wrestling hard enough or digging deeply enough and resolving some of the problems that your work presents? Who will show up and push you?

It's hard to be a grown-up painter.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Eating on the Road

Eating on the Road...
Well, not really sitting on the road and eating or not roadside eating, either....
Question: "What should the focus be if you are driving the backroads from Denver to Indianapolis?" After googling this and that about Nebraska and Kansas, and after stopping to see Willa Cather's girlhood home in Red Cloud, Nebraska, and following the old Oregon Trail for a bit, we decided that what grabbed our attention the most was Road Food. In Homestead, Nebraska, I had my first encounter with
Watermelon Pie!
and so I had to turn my experience into ART.
You can even make some pie for yourself.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Drawing Happens to be a Passion of Mine

A First Friday is different from the annual Stutz Artists Show which just happened. On a First Friday, the studio is still a working place but we hope you will drop in to see what's going on or just to have some conversation. It's much quieter. It might be messy around here. And there's time for some thoughtful conversation.

Then, you can stay for the opening reception of the current StutzARTSpace gallery show. I am in charge of the food, so I hope it's good! and that there is enough! Come early.....I am bringing along some of your favorites, such as "Devils on Horseback" and that spicy Mexican cheesy dip. Tasty. Those go fast.

But most important (oh, yea...)is the art. Come and see my series of 3 drawings featuring my good friend, Lorraine, who modeled for me. Actually, almost of my subjects are people whom I know pretty well.

The gallery will be open all afternoon as well as the studios (just no food at the gallery in the afternoon. So what's the point!) There are so many lovely drawings to see in the show. 11 artists. What a great way to start the weekend!

Looking forward to seeing you.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Art and Life

This weekend I witnessed two of life's greatest mysteries.

I met our little granddaughter, Chloe Maxine Conovitz, when she was only 30 minutes old and was totally enthralled with this little new life. As she stretched and gazed quietly around the room, we were all filled with the greatest hopes and dreams for her. These were the sweetest, sweetest moments.

During this time, our little doxie, Lola, was struggling from a serious disease. She was not going to get better. We had to make the painful decision to put her to sleep to keep her from suffering too much. We had to say good-bye to our little companion, a sweet, loving, gentle soul who had made her way into our hearts.

The glorious beginning, the heartbreaking end. In life, we are witness to both. We have wonderful memories of Lola and are so thankful that she came into our life. We learned from Lola the qualities of unconditional love, that each new day has such promise, and to be thankful for the small things (like a spoonful of cottage cheese to start the day!).

We turn our energies to Chloe Maxine and the great life she has ahead of her.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Danza #4: First Impressions

The finished art--"Danza #4: First Impressions"
will be on exhibit at
Indianapolis Arts Garden
Circle Center Mall
Indianapolis, IN
during the month of March
and at
Central Library
in downtown Indianapolis
during the month of April.

Danza #4: First Impressions
will be available for purchase at auction at the
Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra's
Sterling Season Gala
May 8, 2010
at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center

to request an invitation
visit www.icomusic.org or call 317-940-9607

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

FIRST FRIDAY, February, 2010

Last October, four women joined me at our home in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, for a creative retreat. For a week we made art---painting, writing, drawing. We worked at the villa, at the beach, on the beautiful Malecon, and in coffee shops, trying to meld our individual styles and visions with the lively, colorful culture of Mexico. We viewed local art at the weekly gallery openings and visited with the artists. We hired the neighbors to model for us and painted together on the veranda. At the end of the day we had a glass of wine, cooked local foods, ate in local restaurants and enjoyed meals that neighbors prepared for us . It was a time of great energy---and we all returned home with much accomplished.

We decided to exhibit our work together and the exhibit is on display through February at the Mass Ave Wine Shoppe in Indianapolis. It's a lively show with lots of color and styles and subjects set against the dark walls of the Mass Ave Wine Shoppe exhibition space. As we all used the same models and had the same view from the villa, it's fun to see the different visions and styles come through. While we could not convince our Creative Retreat writer, Susan Guyett, to display her writings from PV, we thank her for writing and distributing our press release with such professionalism and for arranging for some of us to be interviewed by Travis DiNicola on the radio show, "The Art of the Matter", which aired on the local NPR affiliate, WFYI on Friday, February 5th at 8 p.m. and again, Saturday, February 6th at 4 p.m.

Our exhibit invitation is designed by Sara Love.

I hope you will stop by the Mass Ave Wine Shoppe before the end of the month and see the work. I am happy to meet you there, show you the exhibit and talk about the joys and challenges of our experiences -- making art while living in another culture.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Story Continues-"In the midst of it all, there was singing"

Less than a week ago, a horrific earthquake, epicentered in Port au Prince, hit Haiti. Donna Lively Clark, my musician partner in the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra's Notable Arts project, is still trying to get news of a good friend who arrived in the capital last week. It is a very emotional time and an emotional subject. (update: Donna's friend has been located, living on a baseball field, having escaped the school with no means of communication.)

"Danza #4: First Impressions" was finished a week before the tragic disaster. The music piece always projected an underlying sadness to me. Listening to the music as I worked, recalling details of Donna's experiences in Haiti, and viewing photographs of the school and its students and teachers, I was moved to capture the spirit of all of these things: Haitian people, facing difficulties constantly and now, overwhelmingly, and the role that music and art plays in these people's lives. The more I lived with Danza #4, the more I was moved to express through my painting that music and the story it tells of the Haitian experience.

Today, I read news accounts of people in Haiti gathering in the open to sing together, to provide comfort.

Danza #4 inspired me to paint a story and the story has grown bigger.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

First Impressions

Welcome! I invite you to read my thoughts about art making (art making is much harder than people think!) and art viewing. I often wonder who stops to think about what purpose art has in today's world and why we are even making art. I welcome your thoughts, too.

So, here's what's been going on:

In the Fall of 2009, I was pleased to be invited to participate in a project called Notable Arts, which pairs a participating Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra musician with an Indiana artist. My partner musician, Donna Lively Clark, a violist with the ICO, selected and played for me music she finds inspirational--------- Danza #4, by Haitian Classical Composer, Ludovic Lamothe. Donna explained that she and other musicians from the United States and other countries travel to Haiti periodically to teach in a music school in Port au Prince and music camps in two small communities outside the city. When introducing me to Danza #4, Donna spoke lovingly of the children and adults who are involved in the Haitian music program and their wonderful spirit despite being confronted with many daily hardships. Donna showed me pictures of the Haitian school and colleagues involved in the school. Last week, I finished the painting, "Danza #4: First Impressions", inspired by Donna, her stories, and Danza #4.

I loved this project------ painting an interpretation of Lamothe's beautiful and haunting music. The music expresses Donna's experience with the music school-----the students, the Haitian adults who run the school and who teach there, the countless dedicated non-Haitian musicians who travel there to teach, the nun who founded the school and those who support it financially.

Art gave me a chance to say something and I am grateful for that opportunity.