Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tis' The Season To Make Ornaments for The Cooley Gallery

Let's just say it's been quite the fall thus far...beautiful, exhausting, and worrisome all at the same time.  My dad was sick and in the hospital for a week and gave us all a little scare.  Thank the good Lord he has recovered nicely and is almost back to his "normal."  Then my oldest son broke his arm in an impromptu wrestling match with a friend, which required two surgeries.  He just got his pins out on Halloween, in the nick of time for some trick-or-treating.  Next Monday he'll get his cast off and be "home free" to complete his healing on the basketball court, his favorite place. 

So what have I done to keep myself sane this fall, you ask?  Why I've made Christmas ornaments for The Cooley Gallery.  I love making these vintage inspired ornaments, which are layered with all kinds of goodness, including vintage jewelry and papers. Some of the papers are from old, old documents and books (which have been falling apart and begging for a new life).  If you look closely on several of them you will see sayings or musical notes from as far back as the 1800's infused in the composition.  I love marrying the old with the new and making pieces of tiny history that have a touch of elegance, whimsy, and story.

Here are a few that will be hanging on the gallery tree (among many others) this coming Friday and throughout the holiday season.

So if you are looking for something fun and unique to do this Friday, November 7, come to The Cooley Gallery and see an array of artists and choose something inspiring to buy for your Thanksgiving host or hostess or find a Christmas gift for someone special.

6:00-9:00 Art Exhibit. The Cooley Gallery is featuring a wide range of artwork by locally acclaimed artists, including pottery by former Washington Redskins tight-end, Chris Cooley. This month they are featuring rustic and stunning hostess serving platters and dishes, art on canvases, and ornaments just in time for Thanksgiving. 
Location: 12 S. King St., Leesburg, VA 

Saturday, September 6, 2014


I will be attending an upcoming benefit called THE ONE I FEED on September 13th, hosted by the incredibly generous and loving Anastasia Kim.  It's a dance benefit with renowned dancers who are all donating their time and talents for a very important reason, to help assist in the fight against food allergies.  I went last year, and the show was AMAZING.  I expect no less this year.  In fact, the event is also featuring guest speaker Dr. Robert Wood from Johns Hopkins Children's Center, the Division of Allergy and Immunology.  He will have a great deal of important information for those attending.  He is always on the pulse of the latest research when it comes to food allergies. 

I have also been invited to sell my artwork and book, THE DAY I MET THE NUTS (a food allergy story) for the cause.  Proceeds from the event will benefit Johns Hopkins Children's Center in their efforts to find a cure.  Food allergies are unfortunately on the rise.  I have them and so do my children, and many of my friends' children.  It is an epidemic and one that deserves much attention and research.  So why not have fun while raising money for the future of our loved ones.  I can't think of a better way to spend an evening!

As for my art, I have been creating pieces that are dance themed.  I have been dreaming up and creating a few small, medium, and larger pieces.  Dance has always been one of my favorite art forms.  It is a moving canvas.  You can't take it home with you (like you can a piece of visual art), but it settles in your soul and inspires you to dance, too.  Here is a sampling of what I will be displaying and selling there...

If you are in the Washington, DC area (or live in a surrounding state or even if you want to fly in from someplace far away), please consider attending the event.  The price is very affordable, for a Kennedy Center experience, all while knowing the money is going to an important cause.

Here's what Anastasia says about the reason she calls the event THE ONE I FEED:

"The title of our benefit dance event, “The One I Feed,” refers to an old Native American story about two wolves: One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.  He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.  “One is Evil – it is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.  “The other is Good – it is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”  The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”  The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

"Every day we have the opportunity to feed the positive, to focus on all the blessings of our lives, our community, our world, and our universe.  I hope you can help us in our efforts to help all children with food allergies to lead full and rewarding lives, in which the threat of a food item does not mean life or death.  Tickets to this dance event are $30.00/adult and $15.00/child." ~Anastasia Kim

Hope your heart is dancing.  Hope to see you there!


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Art is Connecting

It's all about connecting.  Art is a link from one human being to another, or many others.  When someone composes a song and it's released into the world, the music often dances into to a person's soulful space, engaging them on multiple levels.  It's crazy to think that on the other side of a sonata, a symphony, or whatever type of music that's being heard, is a person who bore his or her soul to create it...sometimes centuries before, sometimes only months before. 

When it comes to a visual piece of art that is an original, "one of a kind," you really tap into the experience of connecting with another human being.  There will be that one individual (or couple) who buys your piece and hangs it on a wall, or props it up on a mantel.  That piece will be there to greet them each day as a reminder of the artistic and emotional investment they made.  It is an investment in claiming, "This piece of art represents a facet of who I am and what I like and what I stand for in this moment in time."  It is often said the artist feels a divine moment or intervention while moving across the canvas, mixing colors and creating shapes, watching as a story unfolds.  It is only later that that divine direction is realized, especially when the art speaks to someone so personally.  And every tear and struggle that went into imagining the work was for a wonderful purpose, as on the other side is a person who has struggled, or hoped, or dared and needed something tangible to celebrate a recent victory over uncertainty.

About a month ago, one of my pieces was sold at a charity auction.  There was a lovely, inspirational  woman who, from what I heard, kept bidding on my piece.  It spoke to her and her current endeavors, as well as her recent leap of faith that she took in her professional and personal life.  I know, because I met her that evening and she shared her story with me.  She shared her story with me!  That's worth repeating because rarely do we know the impact our art has on someone personally.  I had chills thinking of how my piece of art spoke to her on a visceral, spiritual level.  When her picture was being taken as the "winner" of my piece, she waved me over to be by her side.  Art is connecting.

Stay connected!

Peace and love,

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Eleanor Roosevelt Reminds Me To...


I was honored to be asked to donate an original piece of art for The Arts for All auction and fundraiser.  This wonderful initiative was designed to provide art programs for students who cannot otherwise afford to participate in visual arts programs.  Artists from around the world have donated their artwork for Arts for All Silent Auction to raise funds and awareness, with 100% of the proceeds being used to provide arts education programs for underserved, disadvantaged students. 

I thought Eleanor Roosevelt would be appropriate.  She is a reminder of resilience and that no matter where you come from in life, you are given the gift of face it with delight and courage. Embrace the obstacles, as just beyond the next climb is something great.

Eleanor Roosevelt says it best when she cheers us on with, "Do one thing every day that scares you."

What are you waiting for?

Thursday, February 27, 2014


The last few months have been all about art...creating art, displaying art, dreaming up art, overdosing on art.  So I thought I'd catch you up on a few of my latest experiences

Last December, I participated in the Wild Card Show at Art Square.  I never thought I would create small mixed media art on playing cards, but when you're invited to participate in such a jump at the chance.  Well, I loved this more than I thought I would.  I have done art work on mini easels, book covers from torn-up books, large canvasses, old reclaimed wood, and ornaments...but never playing cards.

The Lady and Abe
You would be surprised at the composition possibilities using playing cards.  To start, we were asked to keep the front of the card as is and only create on the backside.  So I began by looking at my playing cards...joker, queen, king, and lucky 7 and use that as inspiration. You should try it!

One Day I Shall Be Queen

This month found me at The Cooley Gallery, where I participated in their February "Small Art Show."  In case you didn't know, The Cooley Gallery was founded by former Redskins star Chris Cooley and is, in my opinion, one of the hippest galleries around the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area.  You should hop in there when you have a chance.  There is a wide-variety of art there, and the pottery is gorgeous and functional, too.
Here are a few of my pieces that were in the show:

March will find me supporting my brother-in-law at his art exhibit at ArtSpace in Herndon.  It's the 2014 Fine Art Photography Exhibit, where one of his pieces was selected as a finalist.
Happy creating!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Simply Put...Art Heals

         “To send light into the darkness of men's hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”  Schumann

It is November, the month of rain and falling leaves, gray days with sun streams, warm hearts and full bellies.  It is the month of giving thanks and remembering love.  It is a living canvas of beauty.  And I am thankful for art, because simply heals every soul it encounters.

I remember clearly the time I had a cancer scare in high school and another one in college.  Along with prayer, the support from my family and friends, composing music on the piano, and writing poetry and stories (all while watching my mom paint) helped me heal in ways I cannot explain.  It helped me process the fear of my illness and the unknown, while allowing beauty and peace into my wounds.  Now jump ahead (quite a few) years later to a time when I've immersed myself into mixed-media art, too, and have experienced great joy and pain in between.  I cannot express how freeing it is to create something in an art form that knows no boundaries!  Mixed-media is poetry, music, documentation, image...everything that the soul can express. 

I happened across these quotes I found to be stunning and striking in a way that cannot be ignored.  These quotes should be carried around in your heart as a reminder that art heals if you allow it:

"Art opens the closets, airs out the cellars and attics. It brings healing." ~ Julia Cameron

"Art is a wound turned into light." ~Georges Braque

"Art is our one true global language. It knows no nation, it favors no race, and it acknowledges no class. It speaks to our need to reveal, heal, and transform. It transcends our ordinary lives and lets us imagine what is possible." ~ Richard Kamler

"I think artists can go to a level of vision that can often save us from a situation which seems to have no solution whatsoever." ~Susan Griffin

"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures." ~Henry Ward Beecher

“The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.”  ~Auguste Rodin

"Art is the stored honey of the human soul." ~Theodore Dreiser

"Making art is like giving a gift: evidence of your spirit and that you are here." ~Patty Mitchell

"I live and love in God's peculiar light" ~Michelangelo 

"At the deepest level, the creative process and the healing process arise from a single source. When you are an artist, you are a healer; a wordless trust of the same mystery is the foundation of your work and its integrity." ~Rachel Naomi Remen, MD


As you step out into the darkness that is pain, remember your duty as the artist, or the lover of art, to bring light into the world, to bring gratefulness to the gifts that are presented to you, the gifts of creativity and sharing. 

Peace, love, and gratitude,

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mixed Media Christmas Ornaments

I'm diving in early and making mixed media holiday ornaments.  This is the first time I've ever made ornaments like these, and I have to say I'm addicted.  I wanted them to have a Paris flee market vibe...a Parisian Christmas type of elegance.  What do you think? 
I'm making these as gifts, but several people have asked If I would consider selling them as well.  It has crossed my mind.  The problem is finding a price that will work for both the buyer and for me.  Most people spend anywhere from $5 to $25 on a holiday ornament for the tree or a wreath.  But most of those ornaments or replications.  Mine are all originals and no two will ever be exactly alike.  In fact, it would almost be impossible for me to replicate any given one.  I don't like doing that anyway.  So, the debate in my mind goes on.  How much would I charge or should I bother?  Should they just be presents?  What do you think?  And what would you pay for one of these?  Artists often have trouble pricing their art because they want to sell their creations, but at the same time they want to get back at least part of what they've put into creating (making art is expensive).  Just to create one of these ornaments took a lot of time driving from place to place, treasure hunting, finding the right specialty art papers, paints, and embellishments.  Not to mention the time that goes into composition, creating, and layering.  And there are always those burned and sore fingers.  Hmmm.  I love every minute of it though...don't you worry!

What are you creating this holiday season?

Happy creating,