The Hand is Keeping Busy

“Surrealism is the magical surprise of finding a lion in a wardrobe where one is sure of finding shirts.” -Frida Kahlo

I haven’t been on here in a while.

I don’t know exactly why. But that seems to be the way with blogs sometimes.

Let’s skip the part where I talk about why I haven’t updated my blog in so long and I’ll just tell you what I’ve been up to.

I am working on a piece for THIS upcoming show. Painting on a mannequin is something new and I am enjoying the experience a lot. I cannot wait to reveal my piece and- even more- I cannot wait to see all the other pieces that my fellow artists come up with.

I just finished reading Frida Kahlo at Home by Suzanne Barbezat. So I am back in the Frida frame of mind that I sometimes fall into. I relate to Frida in many ways, even though our lives are so different. Her level of introspection and symbolism suits mine. And so, my thoughts go into symbolic places as I draw and the results are often deeply personal and odd. Things I don’t want to share here.

But the hand is keeping very busy.

(Me and Artist Sheri Hollenbeck of Downtown Handmade and Vintage talking about Frida Kahlo.
Photograph by artist Gary Stallsworth.)

I’ve been making funny little things out of felt. Unicorns and roller skates and flowers and crying eyes. Some I have turned into brooches and ornaments. I’m still figuring out exactly what my technique will become and what the ultimate goal will be. But it is fun to be working with such a tactile material to make little objects. I have ideas.

Felt flower brooch.

I joined The Hive Artisan Co-op as a member. This means I have a small gallery space to show and hopefully sell some artwork. it also means I am in a creative space surrounded by art on a regular basic, connecting with other artists and being inspired by them. This is good for me.

“Up for Air”
Watercolor on Paper
For sale at The Hive Artisan Co-op

“Home is Wherever I’m with You”
Watercolor on Paper
For sale at The Hive Artisan Co-op

If you live in the Lewiston, Maine area go check out The Hive. It will be worth it.

She’s Forgotten How To Fly



sketchbook  2015 1



sketchbook 2015 2

Recent pages from my sketchbook. Doodles while talking on the phone or daydreaming. The words in the third sketch are quoted (and slightly altered) from Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood. I often jot down pieces of writing or lyrics from songs that inspire me.

I purchased some Sharpie marker pens and have been using those a lot.

Inspiring Words

“The truly creative mind is inhumanly sensitive. To her a touch is a blow, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create so that without the creating of music, poetry or books , her very breath is cut off from her. She must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency she is not really alive unless she is creating.” -Pearl Buck

volcano hands sketch

A Crying Towel


From: An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers by Danny Gregory

I had been having a particularly trying and emotional couple of days and I was not handling it well. I had returned from going for a drive with the baby, listening to Lisa Hannigan on the radio, and doing a bit of crying. Back at home, my husband, Jeramy, and I were talking through it.“I have dozens of painting ideas persistently floating around in here.” I said, and pointed at my head.

“Well, gee! No wonder you are so cranky!” He replied.

He understands. We have been together for almost 17 years, so he would.

If I go too long without some dedicated art time, things become pent-up. As Georgia O’Keeffe once said: I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way… things I had no words for.” There are often things that I need to express, images that I need to get out, and the only way that I can do that is to turn to creativity.

It is as though, by being neglectful of my art, there is a bottleneck of flashing images. They pop up often, mostly when I am doing a task like driving, folding laundry, showering…anything I do on autopilot. My subconscious, dreaming mind can come to the forefront then. And it has become cacophonous lately, without an opportunity for release.

I have only one side of one page left in my sketchbook. I intend to purchase a new one as soon as possible. Keeping a sketchbook has become a great way for me to let out some of these images and ideas, giving them space of their own. Most will never go any further, but the ones that need more fleshing out, once placed in the sketchbook, are happy to wait there to be revisited, now that they exist in a place outside of my mind.

A sketchbook or notebook of some kind is important for all creative types, I believe. Mine helps keep me sane.*

Sketchbook page

*Well, saner, anyway.