Thursday, July 18, 2013

New Exhibit- The Story of the Creative

I am happy to share with you the news of a new exhibit.
Three of my paintings will be part of an exhibit in New York this summer.
"The Story of the Creative" will  be opening next week at the "Angel Orensanz Foundation for Contemporary Art" in New York City. and will be showing until September 10th.
Here is a link to the event:

I am also part of a competition to get into another exhibit, this time in Paris. If you don't mind going into this link and voting for me, I would be very grateful!

Thank you!!!

I hope your creative force takes you on amazing journeys as well....

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Online Studio

After my last blog confession, about not painting lately and feeling uninspired, I have decided to start posting more about the lessons I give in my studio.
 I have been very creative in my teaching lately and have had a lot of fun coming up with new and challenging ideas for classes. I know that I  love reading blogs with ideas for lesson plans, and from creative moms who post their ideas of what to do with their kids.

I have been teaching for quite some time now and have accumulated a lot of very successful lessons for all ages. All tried and tested on my lovely students! Before I started teaching I was inspired by the many creative ideas I found on-line and in books. I love and have always loved Art History. I collect art history books, and love to read about artists and how and why they do/did what they do/did!  I learned to appreciate a lot of different types of art which I didn’t always understand before. When my boys were younger, I wanted to share this with them and used a lot of online lesson plans and books to help me learn how to pass this on to my children. I found I was very good at this; probably because when you love something so much it shows through and is contagious! My kids use to (Ha! Did I really just use past tense!!!?? ) have lots of friends over and I noticed how much they enjoyed creating with us and learning about art. This was a huge influence on my decision to go back to school and not just learn art but become certified art teacher. I wanted to learn how to teach art to others.  I started to teach a small group of 8-10 year old girls in my home while I was still in school. It was so much fun!!

Since then, I have not looked back. I finished school and opened my own studio where I still teach not only kids, but all ages. My students range in age from  6 to 90. Every age has its challenge. I am very grateful for my classes in art education. You really have to know what is appropriate to teach for each individual based on personality, learning style, capabilities and age. I am still learning, of course. I learn from my students every day. But those lessons online really gave me the push to try with my own kids and then with others.

SO…My wish is that this new part of my blog inspires you to try some of my ideas at home. Whether you are a grown up or a kid, a teenager or an art student, I hope you will find something here. I will give lessons for all ages and examples of my students’ art (with their permission, of course). Feel free to use these ideas with your kids or students or if you home school, to add on to your curriculum.

I'm calling this new part of the website/blog "Online Studio" Please feel free to stop by and create with us!
Sending creative energy your way,

Friday, May 24, 2013

I haven’t been writing much lately (as you probably noticed). Actually, I have not been so great with my painting lately either! That is hard for me to admit; maybe that is why I haven’t been writing… my guilt of not creating? How can I write about creating and trying to inspire others when I can’t inspire myself?  But, I suddenly realized that that is not true. I do inspire others! Everyday! THAT I have been doing. In my studio. In my classes. Wow! I do that EVERYDAY. What a realization! So, no- I haven’t really been painting lately. I can now openly admit that. I have been sketching a lot and drawing in my journal. But that’s like meditating. It’s for me-to help me focus. But, everyday I teach others. Everyday I get to have people in my studio, my amazing students, whom I hopefully inspire, but who definitely inspire me. That is a blessing. I am so lucky.
I am sharing today some personal pages from my journal. I hope they will inspire you to draw or paint or even doodle as I do sometimes. These are not paintings. These are pages from my journal that I usually start my day with. Like I said, to me this is like my morning meditation. I start my day with my coffee and my journal and just start drawing whatever comes out. Sometimes it’s words, sometimes images or just doodles. I have seen online, that there is a name for these doodles now, called Zen doodles. It makes sense, since the process of doodling like this is very meditive. The process is like meditation where you are super focused on the shapes and images you are creating and in such, you relax your body and soul.
If you want to create and don’t know where to start, this is a great way to start. It gets the creative juices flowing in a very non- threatening way. Anyone can do it! Even my 7 year old has started to do these! 

Enjoy. Create. And have fun!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Let's get back to the spirals, and how it all began…

I have written before that I have doodled spirals since I was little; in school, while on the phone, when I was bored…I loved to doodle. There is something very calming in drawing a spiral.
But my real connection to the shape and my more conscience connection happened in art school.
It was in one of my art education classes on teaching art to people with special needs. The course was a combination of academic text reading and writing papers, and art therapy exercises we did on ourselves. Then we would practice what we learned in working with others. I loved that class!  The teacher was very insightful, and I learned a lot about myself in that class, which has helped me as a teacher and artist. I remember that in one of her classes, the teacher talked about the spiral mandala. This was the first time I had ever heard of a Mandala. I don’t remember if she taught us of the different religions that use the Mandala;  I just remember her talking about the difference in drawing a spiral starting from the outside to center or from the center out. If you start at the center, working your way out in spiral motion, you are spreading your strength out into the world; where as if the spiral is drawn from the outside toward the center, you are collecting your strength inwards. I loved that! All of a sudden this shape I had been drawing since I was little had meaning. This wasn’t only a shape; it continues endlessly and repeats itself. The importance is in its strength.
After that, the spirals started to appear in my art work. At first, it was in exercises in that class. We had to draw an instinctive drawing of our family and I drew myself holding all my children in my arms, my arms spiraling around them, holding them close. In another class, we had to draw a peaceful moment. All I could think of was that moment in the morning when I first got up, before everyone else in the house. I always set my alarm 15 minutes early, so I could have a cup of coffee in peace and quiet before I started my day. I loved those 15 minutes! It was, in those days, the only time I had to myself. So I painted my coffee cup from above, the way I see it every morning.
And again the spirals... Now remember, this was an exercise and not a fully developed painting, but an idea, a concept, a connection was starting to come together in my art  and in my head.
At first the spirals were chaos, a whirlwind of emotion going through my mind that never shuts off….but then…in the cup of coffee…in those 15 minutes every morning. Gazing into my mug of sanity, I saw my spiral. I saw my calm, my serenity.
I am sure it had everything to do with what was going on in my life at that time.
This was the same year my daughter was born and my mom was battling breast cancer.
And now this shape, that I instinctively have always drawn, was starting to develop a very deep meaning to me. It was not only a doodle. It was giving me strength and eventually it helped me put myself back into the world where I could. The direction of my spiral changed as my life did. I became more aware of this shape, shaping my life.
I started to use this shape more concisely in my art.  The first time was when I sat down to paint my belly cast from when I was pregnant with my daughter.

I casted my belly at the end of my pregnancy and the plan was to paint it after she was born. After we had met her.
I have written before of the influence on my art during this time, but this really was the beginning. This class that I had taken, and the connection I was starting to develop with this shape, would shape my art and my emotions. It started here in this work of art. It isn’t my most beautiful piece, but it is one of my most meaningful. I put all my emotions from the pregnancy and after into this sculpture. The spiral is here. It was starting to speak to me and make sense. I could express my feeling of the pregnancy through the colors. For some reason, throughout that whole pregnancy, I was in pink/purple mode! Now you have to understand, I am NOT a pink/purple girl. I am a more green/brown girl, so these colors that were in my head, and had come through in my paintings during the pregnancy, had to be on the cast. And the spiral- It started at my bellybutton, where I had been giving her life and moved out from there.
Her name and birth date are in the center moving out with the spiral, going out into the world. And my hands are on the top - resting on my belly like all mothers do during pregnancy; feeling the movements of their unborn child, talking to and connecting with this child even before he or she is born. While we still hold them inside and protect them.
We give our children life, and  bring them into this scary world. We are the beginning of THEIR spiral. Our job (as I see it) is to give them the tools to continue on their spiral path through life. At first we protect them, we are their everything; but slowly they develop into themselves, into their own spiral. Still gaining strength from us but learning to move out into the world.
You can see how the spiral started to influence my art and thinking. I started to see everything this way. And when I started to learn more about the spiral in literature, science and religion it made even more sense to me. But let’s leave that for another blog……..

Friday, March 29, 2013

Finding my blogging voice…

In writing the continuation of my last blog I realized a lot of things about myself and this space.
 Last time, I wrote about how I see spirals in everything and how I was starting to see the spiral in a new way. I was starting to see a bigger picture. Before I got into this new thought process, I thought I would explain how I related to it all before. But when I started writing, I realized just how personal it all was and it started me thinking on just how much I want to share here on this blog for the world to see and read.
At first, I erased everything I wrote; thinking- this is way too personal! Why would I share that? And why would someone want to read that? But on the other hand, it's hard to explain certain things without getting personal. The writing starts to be cold, and boring.
 I realized that the blogs that I do like to read were personal. When I read them I feel like I know that person, and then I want to read more. Some blogs can get too personal though. And the blogs I have stopped reading, are the ones that over share. There is a very fine line between getting personal, but not over sharing.
 I started this blog saying that it wasn’t going to be about me. I don’t want to write about my day to day, what my kid did, and who said what to me…..I don’t want that out there and I don’t think people would want to read that.  I wanted it to be all about inspiration, woman, art and creativity. But all those things ARE personal. And to write about them I guess I m going to have to be a little more personal. I realize I am afraid. Afraid to be too personal. Afraid to put that stuff out there for whomever wants to read. Afraid I may bore you or  be uninteresting. But what I am starting to understand is that my fears are blocking me. I started this blog as a new creative challenge for myself. But it has turned into much more than that. I love to hear back from people that have actually  read what I have to say. I am moved by your words. I love the fact that someone I don’t know, on the other side of the world, may be inspired by something I write.  Or that it might start a conversation between us!
I am always telling my students that if there is something that they are afraid to try, then that is exactly the next thing they are doing in my class! If we are afraid to try, we will never move on. We will be stuck. Blocked, like I have been.  So, I am going to take my own advice, and am going to try that here on my blog. I will try to be more open about me and my life without over sharing. I hope what I have to say inspires you. I hope that if I write a little more about my personal life and how I am inspired, by what and whom, that may inspire you.  This is all new to me. I am learning as I go. Finding my "blogging voice" in a way..It is taking some time, but I am learning I hope you will stay with me. I hope you will comment on my blog so others can see. I hope I learn from you and you from me.
I will end with one of my favorite quotes by Sir Ken Robinson " If you are not prepared to be wrong, then you’ll never come up with anything original"
So, here’s to original thought, without fear , which will bring us all to closer to our creative potential.
Wishing you all an amazing weekend.

Monday, March 11, 2013


I've been thinking a lot about spirals lately.

I mean I'm always thinking about spirals; seeing spirals, painting spirals, and I have already written about spirals and my connection to them. How spirals are in everything from our DNA, to how things grow in nature and even in how we connect to G-d. The Tree of Life symbolizes how we connect to G-d and the path we take. We each have our own path and our own way of relating to G-d, or whatever higher energy you believe in. Or maybe you don’t believe in a higher energy and you believe only in science; the spirals are there in science, too.

So, we each have our paths and we live our own lives, yet we connect to people and influence each others paths. Are our paths destiny or pre ordained? Do we meet people randomly or are they put in our paths (and us in theirs) for a reason?

These thoughts have been "spiraling" through my brain lately and I will probably expand on all of this in coming blogs. In the meantime, I would love to hear your thoughts. It may influence my path; my journey of discovery.

So please share your thoughts here on this blog with me and all my readers. You never know whose path you will influence or change…

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A different kind of art experience

Wow. It’s been awhile! Sorry for the unplanned hiatus. It’s been a crazy few weeks here with everyone taking turns getting sick and I have been working hard at a new project….But I'm back!

I want to share with you the amazing exhibit I got to see. I know that I usually promote female artists, but thankfully there have been A LOT of amazing men out there who inspire as well. In fact, the three artists who have inspired my work more than any others are men. Mark Rothko and his amazing color fields; Picasso with his genius and ability to constantly change and re-invent himself artistically;  and Chuck Close, who got me addicted to grids and the ability to combine realism and abstract.

But, today is about a different artist- Van Gogh. I don’t think I have truly appreciated him enough before seeing this exhibit. His canvases do come to life. The colors and emotion in his paintings are amazing! I have been to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, and I have loved Van Gogh’s work, but this exhibit brought me into his work, made me feel a part of his art and his world. It was an amazing experience.

I am talking about the "Van Gogh Alive" experience. -

It is a new kind of exhibit - one that I am all for.  Now, I LOVE museums! I mean, I really, really LOVE them. I can spend days (and I have!) walking around museums. You can taste all kinds of art in one place; be inspired not only by the artist’s work, but thanks to amazing curators, sometimes I feel like I am getting a peek into the artist’s head. I find it inspiring to see others’ creative thought processes. It is fascinating to me.

But this is a completely different experience. If you go into the link above and click on video, you will see what I mean. Walking though this exhibit, you feel like you are inside Van Gogh’s paintings. Not only are his paintings all around you, but inspiring words from letters he had written are displayed across the ceiling and floor, along with beautiful classical music. 
One of these quotes -"I wish they 
would just take me as I am"
was displayed with all of his self 

So, if you get a chance to see this exhibit- go. I saw it in Tel Aviv, but I don’t know where it is traveling to next but it is a great way to see art in a new atmosphere. Even if you are not a huge art lover like me, you would still enjoy the experience.

I will leave you with some more Van Gogh quotes to inspire, and wishing you all a peaceful, loving and relaxing weekend.

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”

“If you hear a voice within you say „you cannot paint“, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”

“What am I in the eyes of most people — a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.”

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”

“It is looking at things for a long time that ripens you and gives you a deeper meaning.”

“...and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?”

“Close friends are truly life's treasures. Sometimes they know us better than we know ourselves. With gentle honesty, they are there to guide and support us, to share our laughter and our tears. Their presence reminds us that we are never really alone.”

“Just slap anything on when you see a blank canvas staring you in the face like some imbecile. You don't know how paralyzing that is, that stare of a blank canvas is, which says to the painter, ‘You can't do a thing’. The canvas has an idiotic stare and mesmerizes some painters so much that they turn into idiots themselves. Many painters are afraid in front of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the real, passionate painter who dares and who has broken the spell of `you can't' once and for all.”

“At present I absolutely want to paint a starry sky. It often seems to me that night is still more richly coloured than the day; having hues of the most intense violets, blues and greens. If only you pay attention to it you will see that certain stars are lemon-yellow, others pink or a green, blue and forget-me-not brilliance. And without my expatiating on this theme it is obvious that putting little white dots on the blue-black is not enough to paint a starry sky.”

“Your profession is not what brings home your weekly paycheck, your profession is what you're put here on earth to do, with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.

Vincent van Gogh― 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Celebrating Female Artists

This week, I hosted an evening for all my students, where we celebrated woman and creativity and watched the movie "Who Does She Think She Is".
It got me thinking, again, about all the amazing female artists out there, past and present; and how we have to encourage and celebrate them. The fact that so many of my students related to this film and felt that they were discouraged from creating art in life or didn’t have time to do it until later on in life, shows just how important this film is.  If you haven’t seen this movie already, I highly suggest you do. And if you are a creative person and have that spark and longing in your soul to create - then PLEASE do! Don’t wait! Don’t let life, society, spouses or children get in the way of you expressing yourself. Draw, dance, paint, doodle, write, sketch…just do it!! Do it for you.
In light of these thoughts and that evening,  I would like to share  with you  an artist whose work I was privileged to have seen  at the MOMA this past summer- Elizabeth Catlett. While at the museum, I took a picture of her sculpture because I was so moved by it.  I wanted to learn more about her.  When I looked her up I was blown away by her and her work. When I showed my mom the picture she said that if I was a sculptor, that is how she imagines my art would look!
Here are the pictures that I took at the museum

And here is the link to the picture online at the MOMA- 

Personally, I like my picture more!

Elizabeth Catlett was an American born, Mexican sculptor and printmaker. Her art celebrated the heroic strength and endurance of African American and Mexican working class women. This sculptor "Mother and Child" was completed during the year she returned to sculpting after the birth of her third son. This does remind me a bit of myself! What is it about that third child? My paintings and style also really developed after the birth of my third child- my daughter. That’s when I started to paint more regularly again, and to develop my style.  The emotion in this sculpture reminds me of my work in the fact that it captures that beautiful fleeting moment between mother and child. I guess that's why I fell so in love with this work of art!
Here is another link to the sculpture online-

The last sentence in the above link to her work is so insightful and meaningful and I love it:
“This tender and protective embrace suggests the vulnerability of a mother but does not diminish her strength"!!!

 Here are some more images of her work that I found online and fell in love with.Enjoy!

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Painting

Looking Up…

I just finished another oil painting in my Tree Series. I am very happy with the process which I went through painting this. These paintings have helped me deal with my life the past 3 years; and as I have grown, I feel my paintings, my technique and my style has also grown. I painted this tree in spirals, as usual, but notice the spirals start small at the top, and grow larger toward the bottom of the painting. I wanted to give the feeling of looking up and through the tree; up to the light in the sky. The sun was coming through the branches and shining on me. I wanted to capture that feeling.

Next week is my 40th birthday and as I look back on my life and where I am today, I feel very blessed and lucky.  I just read in "The Element" by Ken Robinson, that lucky people often make their luck because of attitudes. We all create and shape the realities of our own lives to an extraordinary extent. If you just wait for good things to happen, then you will be lucky to encounter them. He says that our ability to look at situations in a different way and take advantage of situations that come along is what makes the difference. This is why I say that I am both lucky and blessed. I have done lot of soul searching these past years and have tried to work on myself. One of the things that I try to do is to see the world differently; to be open to people, to connect, not to close myself off or be afraid of the world. When you make a conscious decision to be open and to connect, it is amazing the things that will happen to you and the people you will meet. So I guess that is the lucky part. The part I have brought to my world by opening my heart and eyes to things and people I didn’t before. But, I am also blessed. Blessed, because I do believe that even if our own actions bring the blessings into our lives, we are blessed because of our actions. I believe in a higher energy that looks over me. That is what brings these events together through our actions. It is not random. I am blessed with so many things from the people in my life to the way my life is unfolding. So I would like to start this New Year with a blessing to everyone-

May your actions bring you luck and may you be blessed!