be your own superhero today…

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Thank you, Leonard Cohen.

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Anthem

by Leonard Cohen

The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every government —
signs for all to see.

I can’t run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up
a thundercloud
and they’re going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring …

You can add up the parts
but you won’t have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.

unwrapping some ancient memories

On a recent chilly Vermont afternoon I had the pleasure of visiting Elizabeth Bunsen’s studio to unwrap some “bundles”.  I was honored that she saved them for me.  I truly understand how much creative restraint it requires to not open them up right away.

They are so mysterious…every single time.  I can’t really explain what they feel like—an ancient scroll, a map, a message from ancestors, a signal from nature, a calling, a memory, a longing…they’re so peaceful and yet a little haunting as well.  I told you that you that it’s nearly impossible to describe what it feels like to unwrap these bundles.

I’m much better at showing you than telling you.

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The Artist—Maddy Brookes

Maddy Brookes’ idea to fund a trip to Europe next summer by selling her paintings to study art and culture and lend even more depth to her work is absolutely brilliant.  Maddy is a junior at The Rhode Island School of Design. She’s a remarkably prolific painter and also happens to be the lovely girlfriend of my son, Ellis Govoni a student at Landmark College in Vermont.

Think about the art market right now.  It’s nuts.  A small investment in a young painter could be very valuable one day.  Jeff and I made a small investment in the early 1990s in the artist—Ethan Murrow.  It was a really good investment, even if it was a stretch for us at the time.

Here’s the link and a chance to acquire a Maddy Brookes original painting:  https://www.gofundme.com/vz5sr2rd

Cake Maddy Brookes

Maddy Brookes acrylic still life two

See more work of Maddy’s at: https://maddybrookesart.squarespace.com/

I’m very inspired by the boldness of Maddy doing this and I have to tell you why.

As an artist myself, the idea that I have “a product” is very challenging…the work is personal and makes you vulnerable to criticism.  If I sold furniture, cars, sweaters, lawn mowers or cut your hair no one would think twice about me promoting myself and being very upfront about the price of that item. I’m going to challenge myself to put a few pieces up with the price tags and see what happens.  Thank you, Maddy.

Even when perspective buyers visit my studio I treat them like they’re visiting a museum.  That’s crazy.  I have a product.  Actually a very large inventory of products and I basically don’t ever let anyone even know that they’re for sale.

However, with art there seems to be a different relationship. Stay with me a moment.  If a 20-year-old college student told you that they were working to save money for a trip or to buy a car or further their education everyone would praise that effort.  However, with art there’s a perceived arrogance and it isn’t remotely fair.

Maddy has an AMAZING PRODUCT and she’s selling them to fund her desire to travel and further her education as an artist.  I hope you’ll check out Maddy’s work and even if you’re unable to purchase a painting, please send a note of encouragement or forward the link.  You have no idea what an e-mail saying, “I like your work” can mean to an artist.

Maddy Brookes acrylic still life one  Maddy Brookes self portrait

When I pay attention.

A few weeks ago, my friend Maggie Pace shared the Elle Luna book “The Crossroads of SHOULD and MUST” book with me.  It changed everything for me to think about my “MUSTS”.  I’m not making a living off of my art AND I’m not discouraged that I’m not making money from my work right now.  I’m learning.  My work is gaining depth. I’m increasingly more comfortable getting “out there” in the world and not just being alone in my studio (which I adore).  If I’m so driven to make things there has to be some real value in what I do—it simply hasn’t quite revealed itself in it’s entirety…yet.  I believe it just might one day and when I say VALUE I mean all kinds—quality, authenticity, relationships of all types (including self), originality and perhaps even monetary.

I wanted to explain how I ended up in Elizabeth Bunsen’s studio on Lake Champlain in Charlotte, Vermont last week.  Tomorrow I’ll begin a three part blog series and you’ll get to see her work.

1. PAPER

2. TEXTILES

3. RUST & MEMORIES

the cycle of listening

Frida Kahlo inspired handbag. My steps included.

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I spent an inordinate amount of time on this bag.  I’m thrilled that it turned out looking like a museum piece. It’s has structural integrity, but it looks like it should be handled with white gloves.  I think Frida Kahlo might’ve actually carried this.  I’m not sure which of my models for STRUT will be carrying this bag because it works with all four looks. I could do this type of design for days and neither need rest or nourishment.  I love when I’m in “flow” in my studio.  It’s a rare and unbelievably fulfilling time as an artist.

It was great to be in my studio today…

and I didn’t even turn NPR or music on all day.  I was so happy to be alone with my thoughts, a giant iced tea (thanks to my son) and all of my leathers, fabrics, trims, sewing machines and tools.  I wanted to start working on my accessories for the fashion show (STRUT) on September 12th, in Burlington, Vermont. I’m afraid this bag may be a little dark for the runway.  However, with the right styling it might just work.

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the art of doodling…

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I know for me that even a little bit of doodling or drawing in the morning makes me happier and more flexible than when I read the newspaper. I wondered why it makes such a big difference in my overall demeanor…so I did a little research.

I found this fascinating link about what are doodling tells about our psyche.

WOW.  I need to pay more attention to my doodles.

http://liquidblueflame.deviantart.com/journal/Psychology-meaning-of-doodles-drawings-220917663

“Flowers
Flowers represent our feminine side, and a desire to see growth, nature, and reproduction. If flowers are in an arrangement, it denotes a sense of family and togetherness. McNichol writes that Jung believed dreams of flowers suggest a need to release emotion people feel unable to express openly.” Deviant Art Journal

You don’t have to be an artist to get the benefits of drawing. 

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Just draw, there is no right or wrong. 

“We may not be aware of the complexity of drawing, but when analyzed in detail it becomes clear that drawing is an amazing process that requires precise orchestration of multiple brain mechanisms; perceptual processing, memory, precise motor planning and motor control, spatial transformations, emotions, and other diverse higher cognitive functions, are all involved.” Dr. Lora Likova, a cognitive scientist at Smith-Kettlewell.

This amazing process of drawing, whether observational or conceptual, depends on diverse brain regions:

  • cerebellum (major brain region): movement
  • frontal lobe: reasoning, planning, movement, emotions, problem solving
  • parietal lobe: movement and orientation, spatial relationships, recognition, perception of stimuli, linked to a role in creativity
  • occipital lobe: vision, visual processing
  • temporal lobe: perception and memory

http://www.printmag.com/featured/draw-yourself-happy-drawing-creativity-your-brain/

Try using the guide to see what your doodles are telling you. You might learn something you didn’t know was front and center in one of your frontal lobe.

Happy Doodling.

Lisa sig

i just had to make something today…

I have been traveling a lot in the last couple of months.  It’s been great, however, being away from the studio this much I just had to make something today.  I’ve had an idea to make a necklace out of some stuff in the studio.  I really like the look of mixed chains.  To me it reads: resourceful, confident and organic.  I know to others it probably reads messy, chaotic and cheap. That is the nature of art, huh?

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