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Posts from the ‘art’ Category

The Work of Other Artists and my “Antiques Roadshow” moment

As an artist I believe it is important to appreciate, collect, and share the work of other artists. If I didn’t it would be like being a writer who didn’t read books. If I am influenced by anything, it is the work of other artists. Today was a lucky day..a very lucky day. I stopped into my favorite antique store in Berlin, Vintage Junky, to wander the rows and be inspired. I love this store because they not only sell antiques, they sell repurposed pieces as well as some crafts. I have yet to stop in and not find a treasure. Today I found two. First I picked up an old drying rack for $15, a great deal,and a just the perfect size. And then I spotted this lovely piece. IMG_6632 It’s an oil on an 14″X18″ canvas, in a beautiful frame. I loved the women, the colors, everything. The woman in the shop didn’t know anything about the artist, but a quick google of “Marilene painter” revealed that the piece was done by Marilene Sawaf, a NH by way of Egypt, artist. I quickly bought the piece and my drying rack and rushed home to research her. I hung the piece immediately in my dining room, see below! IMG_6631 And then I researched Marilene and discovered that the piece I bought was worth significantly more than I paid for it.My “Antiques Roadshow moment.” Not millions or anything, but let’s just say, I scored. The truth is that it’s price doesn’t really matter; I really love this piece and everything else I saw of Marilene’s and I’d never sell it. Her work has inspired me. This morning, my husband asked me if I was interested in taking more art classes to improve my painting skill. Absolutely I am. Oddly, I had said to him, “well I’m not really sure I could ever be a figure painter..” but after seeing Marilene’s work, I’m inspired to try. I’m so excited for finding this piece and adding to my own art collection. And I’m really excited to see how this work influences my own practice.


oil on canvas 11″x14″



I love him!

oil on canvas 14″X18″

on the easel


Well I sold the turtle piece..yay..but now I need another large piece for the show. This is a small piece I’m working on. I think it would also make a really great big piece. I love this little guy already!

Steel Tree

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From the garden in front of the National Archives…the inspiration for my next painting

Freshly Pressed….I Know, I Know

On Friday my beloved learned that one of his blog posts was highlighted by WordPress and Freshly Pressed. Perhaps you’ve seen it. It’s the piece on the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum.  I didn’t go to the museum myself. As you’ll read in his post, I leaped out of the moving car to instead antique shop.  As I side note, this is not true, while I did jump out of the car; it was for a dress, not antiques.  Bygones.

You can access his piece here or of course here Freshly Pressed.  Please read it; he loves watching his views go up on site stats.

I would like to send my heart felt thanks to Joy Victory who I have come to understand is the one responsible for the fanfare in my home these past few days. Joy is the WordPress Editorial Czar, as she puts it, responsible for selecting the blog posts featured in Freshly Pressed. Thank you Joy for bringing, dare I say, joy into our home.  Chris hasn’t been this excited or obsessed since he discovered he could track the whereabouts of his teenage son with his iPhone.

Every morning for the last three days I have asked, “Just how long does one’s post stay up on Freshly Pressed?” Really, Joy, just how long?

How many views Chris? Wow! Two more than a minute ago? That's something!

This is Chris. See how happy he is? You’ve made his day…days, Joy.  Thank you. Truly.  🙂 And thank you all who’ve commented and said he took such nice pictures.  He does take nice pictures. And thank you lovely reader who responded to his piece with a poem. Life has been especially sweet these last few days.

Gandhi was a spinner

Gandi at his wheel

Whenever I share that I’m a spinner (In the spinning wheel sense, not the exercise bike sense)…I always end up saying, “Gandhi was a spinner.” I’m not sure what people think when I tell them this. I am not comparing myself to Gandhi when I say it, rather I want to share with them the rewards of spinning. Gandhi felt that spinning represented the best of living simply. I think spinning is a meditation.

I once read that spinners of olde would pray for and think about those who they were spinning for. In the wool they would add stories, wishes, and blessing for their loved ones. These stories and prayers would be continued as the spinner then knit the yarn they had just made. Those who received their handiwork received not only the garment; they received the thoughts and love of the spinner.

I have pulled out my spinning wheel this week.

my louet spinning wheel

Usually I reserve spinning for the cooler months. Lately I have felt restless and spinning offers me a retreat. My feet pedal back in forth in a rhythm the wheel seems to give me. The mound of fleece transforms into a tiny thread. It’s magical and quiet. When I spin I think of little else; and when my mind drifts I remind myself to keep my thoughts benevolent. My yarn will carry my emotions and one day someone will wear them. I want to spin peace.

The best advice I’ve ever heard about cooking was to never cook angry. Food from an angry chef never tastes good. It’s true. Conversely, food made with love tastes incredibly good.  Once I made a dish of barley and beans (it was all I had on the shelves) As I cooked, I remember thinking about how much I loved my children.  When I served my kids the simple fare they couldn’t get enough of it..they said it was the best thing ever.  One should spin with just as much feeling. Yarn made with love is undeniably remarkable.

Tonight I will spin some more. I have a 100 other things I could and maybe should be doing, but creating a little beauty seems just as important right now.

My First Icon

Coptic Icon

I wrote this icon a few years ago. One “writes” an icon rather than paints it. I learned this in the Iconography class at took at Trinity Cathedral. Every part of the icon is symbolic, so much so that one viewing is said to “read” it.

I chose to copy an icon from Ethiopia. The colors were so vibrant, the faces particularly lovely. When I was finished, I had the icon blessed in my church and gave it to my parents. Not too long ago I ask to borrow it back for a class I was taking. I had forgotten how beautiful it was. Not that I am responsible for its beauty.

The writing of an icon is a contemplative practice and one is in prayer when working it on. Much of that prayer is a plea for guidance…that your hand is guided by God, assisted by the Saints. I merely held the paintbrush…


Another word for screen printing.

My teacher says the word serigraph distinguishes the prints as fine art…well there you go. My latest pieces. From final to first layer.

Time is money

After maybe 30 minutes of attempting to design and print my own wedding invitations, Chris convinced me to head to Anders Printing to look at what they had to offer.

Once again, I have learned the lesson that paying for the talents of others is worth it, every time. Yes, I could have made my own invitations, but at what cost. The paper, the envelopes, the ink, the decisions I’d have to make…the mistakes I’d make making those decisions. And more importantly, the time. My time, Chris’s time. We have so precious little time as it is. Together in general, and specifically in terms of our wedding.

Pay the good people with the talent and tools. Lesson learned.