Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Firstborn

17 years ago today, my first child was born - I became a parent - I became a mommy. I looked into my child’s eyes for the first time and knew my life was changed forever.

So much has happened in the last 17 years. He has grown from my baby to a young man. A young man learning for his driver’s license. A young man with a job. But a young man who still needs his mommy sometimes.

I decided to re-share today the drawing I did of Effi 2 years ago as it reflects the same feelings I feel today.

In this drawing I was dealing with my emotions of my child growing into a man. Spiraling away from me into his own spiral. Changing and growing but the center is still with me. It was suppose to be an image of him today but as I was drawing I realized that I was putting in a lot of what he looked like as a child. It was a strange experience. I meant to draw one thing, but my mind and emotions, memories and love, changed it into something else. It is how I see him, and probably, only me. It is my Effi. I see the man in front of me, but I still see in him the child that was. My baby, my son.

Happy Birthday Effi!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Teaching the Art of Mandalas to Kids

     One of the classes I teach in my studio is to 6-7 year olds. I love this class. Well, I have to admit, that I love all my classes. Each group is unique and has its own personality.  I truly feel privileged that this is my job!!!  People coming together every week, to create together and connect in my studio. It’s a beautiful thing.
     Kids have a special way of seeing the world. Pablo Picasso said "It took me 4 years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child." This is because as we grow up we are influenced by society and life; and our insecurities and our life experiences influence our creativity. I think what Picasso meant when he said this was that it took him a lifetime of painting to get back to that feeling of painting like a child. You can be taught to paint (not all of us to the level of Raphael  or Picasso! ), but to get back to that childlike excitement of painting, to experience art as a child, the feel of mixing colors and touching different mediums….that's what we need to get back to! I try to teach that to all my students. But for this class, I don’t need to! They still have it!  And a lot of times I learn from them. I learn to see art and artists through their eyes.  This week I decided to try to teach them about Mandalas. I wrote about Mandalas in my blog a few weeks ago and I have taught this to grown up students, but never to kids. It was an amazing experience and I wanted to share it with you.
     I started the class talking about what a Mandala is and showed them images of different Mandalas from all over the world and different cultures. We talked about how a Mandala is a way for us to express ourselves in a special way and connect with ourselves and the world around us. I had them close their eyes and do a little meditation exercise. It was very cute to see their reactions to this. My 7 year old daughter is in this class and I have been doing meditation with her since she was 3 years old. She uses breathing techniques all the time to help herself get through hard situations. When she is really upset, she will go to a corner, close her eyes, and just concentrate on her breathing – in and out -  it works every time! But, here she was the top giggler at the beginning! They were a bit self-conscious, but soon got into it. I had them focus on their breathing - in and out - and then told them to think of something they wish for, or a prayer or a thought for someone in their life. I told them to imagine this wish/prayer as a little light in their heart growing as they breathe in and out, growing and warming their body as it spreads through them and out around them to a circle surrounding them. I then told them to open their eyes and to draw a mandala starting in the middle of the page and like the light starting in their heart and growing out, to draw the Mandala starting in the center and growing out. I got the idea for this lesson from a website on Mandalas- 
     The Mandalas that they drew were AMAZING!!!  I put out on the table A LOT of different materials for them to experiment with and express themselves through. We had collage, paints, pastels, markers and different brushes and stamps, finger painters and combs to play with texture and let’s not forget the 6-7 year olds favorite- GLITTER!!!. They really got into the paints and the colors; experimenting with different textures. Since I got permission from their parents I would like to share their work with you. I hope you enjoy seeing what they did as much as I 
enjoyed watching them create them!  

Amazing, Right?!

After class, my daughter was helping me to clean up the studio and there was A LOT of paint left over and papers that had been used and discarded. So we decided to make use of it all, and used the leftover paint to turn all that paper into amazingly unique textured papers that we can now use for other projects! Boy, did we have fun doing that! Here is an example of some paper we made and my very creative daughter’s work of art- notice her eye showing through!

Happy creating to us all. And may we all be able to paint like children!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sharing my latest Commission

I want to start off this week by thanking all the amazing people that read my blog and comment on my musings. It means so much to me to know that my words touch you and you make the time to share your thoughts with me and others. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to write a  proper blog this week, But I didn’t want to go a week without posting. I would like to share with you a recent commission I did and hadn’t posted on my site yet. It is a sketch of the "Chazon Yechezkel" synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The picture is now in the gallery, and commissions page of this site. Feel free to look around and if you are, or know any one who may be interested, in commissioning a painting, feel free to contact me.

Wishing you all an amazing week, full of love, happiness, family, friendship, and of course- creativity!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

In time of war...

     This isn't a political blog or a very personal one; but it is blog on women, motherhood and creativity- so I feel it’s important to discuss how we deal with being (or not being!) creative during times of stress. Sometimes during stressful situations there are no kids around and we have the time to create…this is our time. Only our thoughts are so consumed with stressful thoughts that it pushes creativity aside and paralyzes us. What if you can't find the muse to create!?
     When I was going through my divorce, for some reason I couldn't paint. I can’t explain it except to say that maybe I connect oil painting to a very emotional place in me and I didn't want to deal with that place, so I pushed it aside. But I found other ways to create. I created a lot of mosaics during that time. Something in the process of breaking things up, physically, and putting them together in a new beautiful way, spoke to me. The creative process helped me, healed me, calmed me and I found peace there.
     It took me along time to pick up my brush again. I worked with soft pastels, oil pastels and pencils and only recently got back into my oil painting again. And I love it again!
     But this past week I had an emotional blockage. I couldn't write my blog and I couldn't paint all week! I was too preoccupied with the war going on in my country. My mind was so consumed with thoughts, there was no room left for anything else.
If you aren't from Israel then you may not know there was a war going on here. Officially, it wasn't called a war. But believe me when I say that for the people in Israel it definitely felt like a war! The last time I heard sirens in Jerusalem and had to run to a safe room I was a teenager. I was living at home, a senior in high school, and my parents were there to protect me. I remember feeling that. It was a very family oriented time. We spent a lot of time at home just waiting for the sirens. We played a lot of backgammon and spent most of our time together glued to the TV to see what was going on in the country. Who was hit? How many injured? It was very scary, but I felt safe with my family.
      Last Friday night a siren went off in Jerusalem, I was home with two of my three kids. We grabbed the dog and ran into the safe room. I didn't know where my 16 year old was. I was very scared. We heard a boom -and I realized – I am the parent here. My kids are looking to me to feel safe. I didn't feel safe. My insides were screaming. Where is my son? Where did it hit? Where is my son? I hope no one got hurt! WHERE IS MY SON!!! But outside, I was calm. For my kids who were also nervous. I had to be calm and keep them calm. Hug them and reassure them that it will be okay. We just need to stay in the room 10 minutes to be sure and safe and then we will go out and see that all is okay….but inside…inside, I was scared too. And when my son came home, very shaken from the experience, I couldn't stop hugging him.
     When the next siren that went off in Jerusalem, I was teaching. I wasn't with my kids! I didn't know where they were, and that scared me. I didn't think anything had happened to them, but they weren't with me. Who is helping them feel safe?
And then a bus was blown up in Tel Aviv, and I couldn't breathe until my kids got home that day. They all take buses back and forth from school everyday…
     It has taken all my strength and emotions to keep it together for my kids. Our country was at war for a week. They saw the news. Even when Jerusalem wasn't affected we are all affected because this is a country where we are all one family. We all care for each other and want to protect each other like a family. We are all responsible for one another and want to feel safe.
     So, I couldn't write and I couldn't paint.  My thoughts were too consumed with worry and concern for my family.
     Now the painting will come again. Now I will express it all in my work. I need that distance from emotional events in my life to be able to create on them. Time to reflect, and then create. I dealt with my divorce in the end, as I dealt with my mother’s illness. I painted through it eventually. And it healed me. 
So let us all go back to creating, to living. And I wish my WHOLE family a safe, warm and peaceful week.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Mandalas- A creative journey for our soul

Mandalas- A creative journey for our soul

As you know (if you don’t, then check out my gallery page!), I use spirals in my art. I love the feeling I get painting in a spiral. It takes me back to my school days when my notebooks were filled with more doodles than notes!
I guess you can say I was happier taking notes on what was going on in my head and soul then what the teacher was saying!  Today I understand this strong connection between what is going through my head and what I am feeling to what I paint or even doodle that day.

This past week I was doing a lot of meditative art; small drawings with pencil, pen and ink. I had a lot on my mind and I find this very comforting, calming and even soul searching.

One form of art that deals with this emotional connection are Mandalas.
Mandalas are used in many religions and cultures. It is a spiritual, creative meditation that connects our inner and outer self. The psychoanalyst Carl Jung saw the Mandala as " a psychological expression of the totality of the self" Jung maintained that the mandala describes our soul, our center point, symbolizing the self. Children draw mandalas instinctively; they are in nature in a variety of forms. The essence of the mandala is a circle, spiral- like, in  nature. Spirals are everywhere from galaxies, trees, shells, flowers or even how a drop of water hits 
water it makes a spiral.

The circle symbolizes perfection, endless space surrounding us and our thoughts. It describes our physical and spiritual circle.

In different religions, it is used as a way to connect and meditate on our connection with ourselves and G-d; a type of prayer through art.
A mandala is an intuitive form of drawing/painting. The center parallel to our own center. We connect through line, form and color with ourselves and create a feeling of balance and calm.

This is a mandala I drew this week. Only after I finished it did I realize I had been thinking of my son that was in the army for the week.
The green I subconsciously picked is the same as his uniform, but also the green of nature. He is growing up and away from me, my center. He is part of something bigger. His spiral 
intertwined with this country he will be defending.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

If Mary Cassatt had a blog…

If Mary Cassatt had a blog…

…or any of the other amazing female artists from a time without Internet and blogging - what would they have blogged about?
     Today, so many artists have blogs or are connected to other artists through online networking. We get support beyond our  immediate environment and interact with people all over the world without traveling. This has opened a number of doors for artists.  You can interact and learn art online, or even find where to get the best quality and priced materials. You can see art online and learn and be inspired by what you see without going to a museum (although it is NOT the same!!!!); or view the work of an artist who may not be exhibiting at museums and galleries but has an online portfolio. There are ways to show your art today that weren't available before.
     Would Mary have written a blog and shared her frustrations with society’s outlook on woman artists in those days? Would she have shared her ambitions to paint professionally against these prejudices?  Maybe she would tell tales of her school days and how she didn't think she was learning anything so she moved to Paris and copied the masters at the Louvre. We could have heard of the people she met there. The frustrations of submitting work to the Salon and not being shown. The fact that her father disapproved of her way of life and wouldn't give her money for art supplies. How she almost gave up in despair.She went to America and wrote in a letter in July 1871- "I have given up my studio & torn up my father's portrait, & have not touched a brush for six weeks nor ever will again until I see some prospect of getting back to Europe. I am very anxious to go out west next fall & get some employment, but I have not yet decided where."  
     Thankfully she didn't give up! Eventually she went back to Europe and had success. She was very verbal and blunt about her ideas on politics in the art world, and I am sure I would have loved to read a blog of hers. At one point she debated and tried to paint in a more fashionable manner to be more marketable and make money doing commissions for the American socialites. This is a topic many of us are well aware of today. Do we paint more marketable paintings thinking of what people would want to buy, or are we true to ourselves and paint from our souls?
     We could have read about her interaction with impressionists; her friendship with Berthe Morisot and Degas and how Degas influenced her. On seeing Degas’s work she said, "It changed my life. I saw art then as I wanted to see it.”
     Mary decided early in life that marriage would not fit in with her career choice. Is this not still a big challenge for women artists today? How to balance our creativity with marriage and children? So many woman struggle with being an artist as a career choice and only go "back" to art later in life, when they have time. Women are still battling with society’s idea of women’s roles and how we can manage a career and family. If Mary had Internet, and could interact with other woman going through similar struggles as her own, would she have still chosen this road?
Later in life Mary created her most famous series of paintings and prints. She painted mothers and children in the most soft, tender and honest way.  I love these paintings.
 Here are a few for you to enjoy…The first one I saw at the Brooklyn museum this summer and it is just amazing up close.

You can see why I would LOVE these paintings!!!
     Mary went on to be a role model for many young artists and advised art collectors on buying Impressionist art.
     Imagine what influence she would have had today.

     I would like to give blog space once a month to celebrate female artists from around the world. We can all learn from them. Their struggles and issues are our struggles and issues. I would like to try and see the world through the eyes of these amazing women, learn from them and discuss issues that were important to them and may still be relevant today.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Birth and Creation

Birth and Creation

I just experienced one of the most amazing experiences I could have ever wished to be a part of…..
A very good friend of mine honored me by asking me to be a part of her baby’s birth. Months ago, when she first asked me, I was so touched that she would want me there, but also a little nervous and scared. I had never been to anyone’s birth except those of my own children.
   I am very lucky to be able to say that I brought 3 very different children into this world, each in their own unique and beautiful way. Each pregnancy and birth was so beautiful, natural and miraculous. When I was pregnant with my first child, I devoured every book I could get my hands on about pregnancy and birth. I wanted to be prepared!   My favorite books (and those I reread in preparation for this experience) were by the amazing Ina May Gaskin. The book- Spiritual Midwifery blew my mind away. I loved being pregnant and was really looking forward to having this little person in my life, but I was scared of the actual birth experience. We are always afraid of the unknown, aren’t we? But these books helped me see the spiritual, emotional and loving side of the birth itself. My births turned out to be beautiful experiences in my life and I am sure that the positive way my children came into this world has helped in starting them off to be the amazing people they now are and are still growing into.
Now, I have a little secret. When I grow up (ha-ha!) I want to be a Doula. I would love to be able (if I can) to help other woman have such positive birthing experiences. I can't think of a better way to spend my life than by being apart of bringing life into this world.
My experience from the past 2 days with my friend has only strengthened this as a goal in my life. It was so beautiful. To be a part of the journey of this little soul into this world, and to help make that journey as calming and positive for the mom and dad.
I am so honored and moved to have witnessed such love between two people and the creation that love inspired.
Today I’m looking at the world slightly different (Although, It could be from lack of sleep)…I see creation, I see love, and I see miracles.
It was by birth and connection with myself as a mother that brought me back to my art. Art is like birth and motherhood.  I am lucky to be creating art daily and helping others on their journey of creation and connecting to that part of themselves.
I hope someday I will be as blessed to be helping people bring their creations into this world through childbirth as well.
For now, all I can say is THANK YOU to my friends for inviting me along on such a beautiful, personal and loving journey

Friday, October 5, 2012

Today was a good day!

     Today was good day!
     I feel a little guilty saying this knowing that my kids weren’t home at all. Their father took them camping for two days and I decided to use that time to do all the things I haven’t been able to do when the kids are  home.
     So… the first day, I DID NOTHING!!!! It was amazing! I hadn’t done that in so long! Just sat around in my PJs  reading, watching TV, catching up on facebook….Okay, okay…so I did do some practical stuff, like  banking, laundry and cleaning, but I did it very relaxed!!!!
     Today started with surprise. A friend of mine took a course this year called "Oh Mama", at Hebrew University. Its focus was on Art and Motherhood. It was a fascinating course and she decided to write her paper at the end of the year about me and my art. During the year, we had sat together often and discussed art and motherhood. She interviewed me about my art, and this morning I read the paper she wrote. It moved me to tears!  First of all, it was interesting to read about myself!  Plus some of the things she wrote about my art were enlightening. She saw things that I never thought of, or intended, in my paintings. I always use to wonder what some of the artists in museums and books would think about the interpretations we have made of their art work. Reading this paper today gave me a feeling of what it is like to have someone else write about you and your intentions from their perspective. I hope her professor is as moved as I was!!!
     I then spent the rest of the day PAINTING!!!! What a pleasure! I really haven’t done that in too long.  During the month of August the kids were home everyday, all day, leaving no time to paint. Then the school year started and I thought I would be able to get back into my painting. But then I was too preoccupied with planning all my classes and teaching (and learning to write a blog!) to find that big chunk of time to really dive in. Today I did, and boy does it feel great!  If you are an artist you know that feeling: that amazing feeling of getting lost in your artwork. It is the best feeling on earth. It is a spiritual, emotional and physical awakening. I feel energized, like I haven’t in awhile. I have noticed that about myself over the years: that when I don’t create I get down and when I am creating I am a different person.
     So, how do we find that balance between motherhood, life, work, and creating our art so we stay personally balanced?
     I think the problem is sometimes we want all or nothing. If we can’t find that perfect time, complete quiet, no kids…or whatever other obstacles we lay out for ourselves, we cannot create. I know I am like that. I need my space and time to paint. So for now, I am looking for that balance within my life, cause I am a mother, partner and teacher and all those things will get their full attention; but I need to –no, I HAVE to -  paint. I have to for my own sanity, in order to be a good mother, partner and teacher. Therefore, I am putting aside one day a week from now on. I have one morning that I don’t teach and I am NOT going to go shopping or meet friends or even read a book! I will paint! The dishes will still get done, the laundry sorted and food will be on the table … and I will be HAPPY to do it!!!!
     So, don’t make excuses to not create! Make time for yourself. Put time aside every week to create. The time will never be perfect so don’t try to make it so or wait for it to be, just DO IT!!!!!
Is anyone else struggling to find that balance? Write a comment here and share your experience. Maybe we can all learn from each other and encourage one another….

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Musings on teaching

Musings on teaching….

I have written a lot about my art and my life connected to art, but what I haven’t yet talked about on this blog, is  a very important piece  of my artistic career- Teaching!
There is that saying by George Bernard Shaw which people always joke about "He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches." As I sat down to write these musings, that quote popped into my head, and I was thinking of its validation. I think that there are plenty of people that excel in what they "do" but cannot teach it to others. And there are those who teach, not because they "cannot" but maybe for more practical reasons like…making money! There are many successful artists who still need to teach to make enough money to live. It is actually very practical. You love something; you are good at it; why not try and pass that on to others! Inspire! That’s what good teaching is all about, right? Inspiring.
I think that I "do" and I "teach" from my passion to "do".  Does that make sense?
I love to teach. I went back to school later on in life. It took me awhile to reconnect with myself and discover what I wanted to do. But when I went back to school, it wasn’t just to do and learn art, but specifically to learn how to teach art to others. The biggest part of my education was reconnecting with myself as an artist. I became passionate about art again. When I teach, I feel my job is to inspire others with my passion for art and what I "do". If I didn’t "do" it, I don’t think I could teach it.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Committing to writing a blog

Committing to writing a blog

So, maybe committing to writing a blog right before summer vacation started wasn’t the best idea! I have taken a month off without meaning too! After camp was over and the kids were home fulltime, well…time flew by without me realizing it. But it was a great summer. The kids had fun, relaxed, and have now gotten back into a school schedule, and my life is back on track. My classes have all restarted. It is great to have people back in the studio creating and having fun. I now have time to paint again and get back to my Thursday morning blog writing!
 I started this blog more for myself than anything. I have written in the past that I don’t want this blog to be just about me and my life. My intention isn’t to tell you all about myself and for people to comment and relate to that.  I do feel I have a story to tell and experiences to share that would benefit others; and I have seen on other blogs and know for myself that sometimes just reading that someone else is dealing with similar issues as you can help you get through them. When I first got divorced, I read a lot of blogs of other single parents and I felt less alone; not only because of what they wrote, but seeing so many others responding and hearing their stories as well. It really made me believe in the good side of the internet! A place for people to connect and share.
But, I started this for another reason. Like I said: for myself - to challenge myself.
I have always loved to write. When I was little I wrote poems. Cute little poems that I was very proud of and very embarrassed if my parent read them out loud! As I grew older my writing was more for myself, and I never thought of it as a creative outlet.
I never even thought of it as creative! My art was what made me "Artistic" and "Creative". Writing was more personal. The older I have gotten, and the more writing has benefited me in my life, I realize the strong relation it has to my Art. A lot of the same feeling I get when painting, I get when writing. The frustration when nothing comes out…and the excitement when it all just overflows and pours out!! As Picasso said, “Painting is just another way of keeping a diary"
So, to me, this blog is also my new creative challenge: every week, to sit down and commit to writing. Writing publicly! Putting myself a little (a lot!!!) out of my comfort zone. This is how we grow, as people and as artists. By connecting with others and putting ourselves out there.
One of my favorite quotes is by Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb "To us art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take the risks"
So this is my new adventure, and I am taking a risk with you and myself with the hopes of growing personally, artistically and connecting in a new way to the world.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!- Audrey Hepburn

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!
Audrey Hepburn

I love this quote! And Audrey Hepburn was definitely a creative woman we can all learn from.
I didn’t always live my life by this wisdom. But for the past few years I have. I have been living my life with belief in myself and my dreams. It has not always been easy (I talked about that in last week’s blog), but I feel that lately it is all pulling together. Lots of positive things are happening to me and I believe it’s because I now believe in myself and allow myself to dream and to believe these dreams will come true.
As you know I participated in "Art Takes Time Square" this past June, where one of my paintings was displayed in Times Square, along with those of other artists from all over the world. Well, I just received an e-mail informing me that one of my paintings will now be in a BOOK!!! I am so excited! Check this out-

Your artwork has been selected to appear in the 2012 edition of Art Takes Times Square

 Dear Deena, 

We have exciting news. After reviewing the work you submitted into the Art Takes Times Square competition, our Editorial Committee has chosen one of your pieces to be featured in our upcoming publication, Art Takes Times Square.

Out of the tens of thousands of artists who entered the Art Takes Times Square contest, only a select few will appear in this publication. You can take pride in knowing that your work was among the best we saw, and we believe this special coffee-table book will be even better with your art included.

This particular painting is the one which I had hoped would be picked to be displayed on Times Square, even though I was happy that any one of my paintings was chosen. It would have been very special to have seen this one on the billboard for many reasons, so I am SO happy they picked this painting for the book.
I am going to keep on dreaming big, and see what other positive surprises life has in store for me!
And please remember…DREAM BIG!!!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Who Does She Think She Is?

My idea for this blog is that it shouldn’t just be about me and my art, but a celebration of woman, motherhood, art and creativity.

Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to combine these things. A lot of woman artists stop creating when they become mothers, or their creativity shifts to a more practical route. Now this makes a lot of sense. Once you are a mother, time isn’t always available. You need to learn to multitask your life between being a partner and mother, and juggling work and friends.  It is not always easy to find time for yourself. Ask any mother of little kids when was the last time she sat down to read a book and she will probably laugh.  When I first got divorced, there were many people who told me I should give up on my art and find a more practical job. "You should teach art in the school system" or my favorite - ‘you should do art in your free time (ha ha) and get a regular job’. I am very grateful and lucky for the fact that most of the people in my life didn’t say that and were very encouraging and supportive. I think that I am very lucky to do what I do. I get to be a full time mother and work at a job that I love! I have people coming to my studio to learn art and be creative. I get to inspire and be inspired daily. My studio is right there, ready and waiting for me to create daily. I feel I am a better mother when I give myself the chance to make art and express myself.

One of the big influences on me to stick with my art was the movie-"Who Does She Think She Is?" This is a documentary about women struggling to live creative lives and balance with motherhood and family. It talks about the guilt women feel when putting aside time for themselves to create. It deals with questions such as: how to create and not turn your back on family and community? How does this affect children and family? Why are women always caught between giving to others and developing their own skills? This movie empowered me and encouraged me to realize that I can live my WHOLE life.  I would love for my blog to inspire others.  I have received a lot of responses to my blog from women who told me how hard it is/was to keep creating when life got in the way. I would love for people to respond and comment here on your thoughts on this issue. Maybe we can start a conversation that will encourage others to live their WHOLE life. So when asked-"Who does she think she is?"  We can just smile and say “This is who I am!"

Please check out the website and be inspired. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Art Takes Time Square!!!

Last month I had the pleasure of participating in an interesting art event, Art takes Times Square, hosted by "Artist Wanted”. Artists from all over the world put up art portfolios on the web. They were then judged by the public and Artist Wanted, and those who received enough votes were chosen to exhibit their art in Times Square. Here is a video of the event and winner, Vicki DaSilva
 It was an incredible experience for me. I hadn’t been to NY in 20 years, and this was my first time traveling by myself without my kids! So just being there was amazing….I lived and breathed art for 10 days. The event itself was a celebration of art and artist. Artist from all over the world, standing together, watching our art on huge screens in Times Square New York! It was an amazing feeling. Here is my painting up on the big screen-
I then spent the next week trying to see as much art and museums as possible, spent time with old friends and family, and came home refreshed and inspired! I will be sharing some of the amazing art I got to experience with you in the next few blogs….I have also started a new painting and look forward to sharing it with you all when it’s finished.
 Thank you to everyone that has written to me lately about my blog. I am truly touched to get such beautiful letters from such inspiring people and am thrilled that my art may inspire others. I know there are artists that just paint and don’t think about what people will think or feel when looking at their art; but I am not like that. My art is my way of connecting. Connecting to myself, and the world around me. So if my art touches you, I would love to hear! And feel free to write your beautiful words on this site as well, so that others can be inspired by you! Thank you again. And till next week…..

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Nature Series

I love trees, and have always felt connected to them and their earthy tones; from the brown of the mud from which they grow, to the different shades on tree trunks, up to the branches and leaves of green. The changing colors and shapes of the leaves as the sun hits the tree.
Trees are so much more then just plants. They represent life. Their roots spreading underground, growing up and out into the sky, interacting with our breath and air. We are connected.

My Beautiful Tree- Family, Motherhood and Life

My tree is beautiful
Sometimes bent and broken
Full of leaves
At full blossom
Others bare and hopeful
Peaceful and calm
Or rattling in the wind
But always beautiful

The trees in this series, represent for me, family and life.
Sometimes, soft, simple, beautiful and blooming,

Others bent over and broken , the branches are all complicated and intertwined and yet so beautiful. Life growing from the desert sand.

Or that one last hopeful leaf clinging to the bare branches.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Nursing Collection

The Nursing Collection

Within 2 weeks of my daughter being born, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. The focus of my life that year was  nursing and nurturing my daughter, and being  with my mother as much as possible.
That time in my life influenced and molded my artistic style. I wanted to capture the love I felt for both my mother and daughter and relate the strong bonds we build through love and nurturing relationships.

The symbol of the breast and what it means to a woman, was very much on my mind during his time.
While nursing my daughter, nourishing her from my body, I became obsessed with that look she gave me while nursing. Looking up at me with pure love, honesty, calmness and the faith in me to give her what she needs.
I started sketching while nursing, trying to capture that look, that feeling..
After awhile those sketches turned into the drawings and the paintings in this collection.

My spiritual and creative connection to the spiral  started with these paintings. The movement and symbol were meditative. Each spiral and color brought me peace and serenity. The spiral represents birth, life and death. The never ending love of a parent for their child. Spirals are femininity; the cycles of womanhood.

This painting is very big, 168cm*200cm. I broke up that perfect moment into lots of spirals.  When standing close you get lost in the abstract- spirals and color. But as you step back, the picture becomes more clear and focused.

This painting is the last in the series. It was painted during the time my daughter was self -weaning, and finished after she had stopped.
It is one spiral: starting  at its center , and painted in a spiral movement. I wanted to give her her own spiral. It starts with us together, and our special bond…but moves out and off the canvas, growing as she grows….

For more paintings and drawings in this collection see the "Gallery"

I now paint and draw these moments for other mothers. Capturing that look, and that feeling…..

Monday, June 4, 2012

I am a mother. I am an artist.

I am a mother. I am an artist.

The use of color, texture and shape expresses my bond between mother and child;
 that powerful, spiritual and emotional connection unlike any other.

 I paint to capture these emotions. One of my first inspirations was the look in my daughters eyes as she looked up at me while nursing; that perfect moment of calm, love, giving and taking. A moment that mothers want to hold onto, but often lose in the everyday tasks of motherhood.
I accomplished this by breaking up that moment into fragments and putting it back together through spirals.
The spiral represents the strong bond of love that grows out, becoming stronger and never-ending; like the love of a parent for a child. It represents the cycle of life, womanhood, femininity and motherhood.
It represents me.