April 29, 2014

What came before today (or my life before now)

A few people have asked me about my journey to what I do. Well here it is. A little bit more about my life before today.

 Life begins when you want it to. When you decide it to. That’s what I have always believed. When I was at art school,l life turned on for me in the studio, turned off each day at my necessary job. Off and on off and on each day. When I started my little art school twenty years ago I had been making paintings for a gallery and creating a children’s clothing line most every day. It was a frantic rhythm to keep up with the pace of selling work. I also had two little daughters who loved to create. It was an exhausting time where the creative switch was on but way out of balance with my life.  Time marched forward and the rhythm of the family interwove with the rhythm of my blossoming little art school. The clothing line production fell away and the art school and my own art had a stronger footing and less crazy pace.  The creative - life switch was on and humming smoothly.

There had been something in place, that kept my life switch on and kept me reaching deeper for more. There were really difficult times personally, divorce and doubt. There were all the things good and bad and really bad that having a family and career at the same time bring. But there was finally a pace and the practice kept a fire burning in me. And my daughters were thriving and growing into young women with passions of their own. There was balance restored and art was saving the day – every day.

I found love again with someone who shared my passion and complimented it. We began our life together in our first gallery among our families and friends who continue to support our creative endeavors and dreams. Our little art  school has grown by leaps and bounds and now has three teachers and classes and workshops most every day of the year. Switched on and deeply rooted in our creative life, I have been blessed for ten years to be doing what I love with someone I love. We have sold art work together, written three - (and now our fourth) books and photographed them together, juggled design clients and produced a film festival together. It works. It is fun and it is hard work. Every day. What makes it worthwhile? The students, the clients and the satisfaction our creative process brings them. Making something intangible or tangible. A feeling of peace at the end of the day.

One of my favorite things is connecting with adults who want to make that spark glow a little brighter.  For the past two years I have been working behind the scenes to make a special retreat for people wanting to deeply connect to themselves, their art, nature and other creatives. This past August our Art {retreat} Camp – ARC - was finally a reality. It was the most satisfying art experience that I have had with a group of people. There was creative joy each day through simple processes and a peace that came with it for everyone. Music was made, colorful messes were made and much creative conversations from so many different views that it was remarkable. Each person was able to reconnect with nature in it’s quietest form alone and with others. We are continuing to grow ARC in August 2014 to deepen the experience for many more people.

It is through this deepening of commitment - to throw ourselves out into the great creative beyond - that we find fulfillment as artists. I am deepening my commitment to teaching this winter by offering my classroom experiences and books online in Painting, Mixed Media and Printmaking . It will be exciting to reach out around the globe to share my expanded lessons from my Art Lab for Kids books to a version for adults wishing to deepen their artistic skills by play and practice. 

 It’s a good life this creative one – but for me it’s best when it’s challenged and changing and that always comes by digging a little deeper. 

April 28, 2014

To take time away from home

from the Brooklyn Art Museum an installation by Swoon
It always seems elusive - or - difficult to orchestrate but time away from one's work is so important! We like to head to the city to take in the sights and art and to people watch. We were so lucky this past week to have beautiful weather, everything in bloom and to visit the Brooklyn Art  Museum to see not one, but three amazing exhibits. First up Swoon's Submerged Motherlands
 You can read more about this fabulous piece here and see the video with the artist here too!

 Equally exiting for me was the Ai Weiwei exhibit. Moving, exciting, and important on all fronts. Here's a link to get you closer to his incredible body of  work. I also fell in love with the Arts of the Americas rooms this time and this little sculpture stole my heart. The BMA is fast becoming one of my favorites anywhere...
We also were introduced to some new yummy dinner spots by dear friend Tammy - over on Smith Street we had dinner (yum!) and drinks (have the Boba Fett, seriously great cocktail!)  at Hunter's and a stop at Avlee's Greek Kitchen which was so yummy. We love our walks in Manhattan and no visit to NYC  is complete without walking the HghLine.  We walked the entire length and had perfect weather to view all the vistas. My feet still hurt but it was completely worth every blister! Good to be home, but sad to leave the bounty of Brooklyn,

April 22, 2014

The Eric Carle Museum : Workshop for 3D Art Lab for Kids

It is always a thrill to be asked to run an art  workshop - especially at The Eric Carle Museum's beautiful art studio. Many thanks to Meghan Burch for making me feel so at home there! Great kids/families/adults throughout the afternoon created marvelous sculptures with rolled paper. Everyone had fun! Can't wait to return in the fall.

Signing books! Thank you to The Eric Carle Museum for having me! What a creative place!

April 16, 2014

Geometric Necklaces by Megan Bogonovich!

These beautiful porcelain necklaces are one of a kind and popping into the shop today! Adjustable lengths and soft spring colors make for a real statement piece of jewelry.

April 11, 2014

New little cards :: original watercolor + ink

Had a moment to do a little drawing - so I made some cards. They are on Arches deckle edge card stock with beautiful deckle edged envelopes. After the greeting is over the recipient can frame it if they wish! They are all for sale over at my Etsy shop right here!

April 10, 2014

Art {retreat} Camp - a breath of fresh air

Painting on the Beach with Mati McDonough

It's time again to sign up for summer camp. Yes. Enroll yourself in summer camp just like a kid! Roam a private island filled with trees and hills and jumpstart your nap rituals again. Your yoga practice. Learn wonderful creative ways to express yourself through exciting art workshops with some of the finest instructors in the world. Be with other creative types who like yourself, may have not (for a long time?) or ever picked up a paintbrush and reconnect with yourself! 

There are so many things I could tell you about this beautiful island - but maybe just maybe you will come explore them for yourself. Watch the video. Be inspired. Join our intimate (only 25 campers!) group of campers who are waiting for August with anticipation. Watch the video for some snippets of last year's adventure! Read what people had to say about it from last year (scroll down). Sign up here at ARC.

April 08, 2014

Let's Paint! my new online painting course!

There is still time to sign up for my online painting course: Let's Paint! It's full of inspiration, solid technique and adventurous experimenting! It's roots come from my 20 years of teaching painting and being a painter myself. Do you want to playfully learn which materials are best for your needs and draw out your own style? We'll also experiment with color, composition, value, and which tool to use to get the look you want! Sound good? Then this is the class for you! Right now it is $129 - check out the rest of the details here at the class website and Let's Paint! 

April 05, 2014

Opening last night : Something about Spring!

A few snaps from Phil Stiles of last night's opening of my show: Something About Spring. It was a great turn out and am hoping to have our technical issue fixed so all the work should be on the shop  later today. Am so thankful to everyone who came out! Thanks for the support. Check it out at artstream's onlne shop later here today!

friends and guests

Peek at Flower Shower

our class room for adults - ready for Saturday workshops!

April 03, 2014

New season, new blog header

blossoms from last April in Germany
I - like so many other New Englanders are thrilled about Spring. So of course whilst resurrecting my blog from the depths of Winter past I felt compelled to make a new header. New new new is spring in all ways. For me this Spring is bring some new adventures. I am working on a NEW book series (yes series!) , we are hosting new exhibits and classes at artstream - a series of online classes which are exciting for me personally as the teacher. It's all good. It's all new as this long awaited Spring unfolds.I hope to bring pieces of this life to you here more consistently this year! Happy Spring!

Lorraine Baumann ceramics

We are thrilled to be introducing Lorraine Baumann's functional ware ceramics in the gallery! I  love Lorraine's attitude to making pots. She loves to explore and experiment. Her work is highly affordable and these little olive oil decanters are just a few of the pieces we are unveiling tomorrow night at the opening of Something about Spring! Do the Dover Art Walk tomorrow night from 5-8 and join us to celebrate SPRING! All of Lorraine's work will be available soon in our online shop too!

April 01, 2014

Another peek at my show "Something About Spring"

Just another partial peek at one of my paintings for my solo opening this Friday - you are all invited to join me from 5-8 at artstream! If you can't make it  in person but want to see what's available - all the work will be online Friday a.m. for you to see in our shop! Lots of great deals on originals people. It's SPRING! And there is just Something About Spring that I love.