Thursday, September 29, 2011

mushroom dreams

you  may have noticed i've changed my blog header and more importantly, the name of my blog (no longer ode to posterity). 

why mushroom dreams? 

i've come back from the woods of new hampshire, and squam art workshops, a changed woman.  really.  in the best of ways.  i feel more focused.  energized.  and filled up in a way i haven't felt in a very long time.  i've come home with so many ideas making their way to the surface, so much so that i don't know where to begin..  so i'll begin at the beginning.


staying in a cabin in the deephaven camp was like going home to yourself... those woods, the lake, the whispering whiper wills, the mushrooms, oh those mushrooms.  it really is a magical place where you can just be and listen to what the universe is trying to tell you .   it was good for my soul. for my heart.  and mind.  it was kinda like a solar panel, that soakes in all the light and stores it for later use.  well that's what SAW was.  an opportunity to rest your soul, soak in friendship, and spark your creative energy.  for me, it was a refueling.  is any of this making sense?

why mushroom dremas, you ask?  well as you can tell, those red mushrooms in particular had me at first sight.  i didn't realize how much i loved those little (and very big) fungi.  as per the thesaurus.com, when mushroom is used as a verb, it means to 'sprout; grow quickly'.

some synonyms for mushroom are: augment, blow up, boom, burgeon, burst, detonate, expand, explode, flourish, go off, grow, grow rapidly, increase, luxuriate, proliferate, shoot up, spread, spring up.
and that's exactly how i'm feeling... an augmented sense of awareness of who i am, and what i want, and where i want to go.  a burgeoning of ideas to expand my creative endeavors.   ideas that will help my creative mind and spirit flourish, and grow.  and it all seems to be coming at me fast and furious.  shooting up, spreading, and springing up... just like that.  mushroom dreams.

i'm still processing ideas, and scribbling furiously in my idea journal.  still trying to make sense of all the little bits.  gawd, it's so nice to feel alive again.  and excited about something you hold so dear.  it. feels. really. really.  good

Friday, September 23, 2011

postpone your dreams no more


driving home, leaving new hampshire

here is what elizabeth read on sunday morning to close out the session. It comes from John O'Donohue's To Bless the Space Between Us and these are the last two stanzas of his poem "A Morning Offering."

may my mind come alive today
to the invisible geography
that invites me to new frontiers
to break the dead shell of yesterdays
to risk being disturbed and changed


may I have the courage today
to live the life that I would love
to postpone my dream no longer
but do at last what I came here for
and waste my heart on fear no more.


that's just what i was talking about.  right?  moving through my fear to get to that place where i wanna be.  what beautiful words that rang true to my heart.  so eerily captured in a few stanzas.  i'm certain he wrote this for me.

feeling ready and full speed ahead to take on my one wild and precious life.


quote by mary oliver

Monday, September 19, 2011

Squam 2011


i am back from a fabulous week away which started off in boston, and then a four day art retreat, that is Squam Art Workshops, out in the beautiful woods, and hills of new hampshire.

i knew i was in for an incredible time, but i didn't realize how incredible it would actually end up being.  for a gal who is an introvert and who's not comfortable being a social butterfly, this was a big deal for me. i knew no one, and going in, i was nervous about that.  but i kept remembering my one word and that was 'risks'.  moving through my fear to create new experiences.  and that's just what i did. it was fabulous.  like a blur of 4 four days of creative bliss.

and here i go feeling weepy and emotional again thinking about it, in a soulful, joyful way.  and full of gratitute for the art sisters that i got to meet and hang with.

the beauty of squam is that you can do as much as want and as little as you want, depending on your mood.  if you want some alone/quiet time, the woods, the trees, the mushrooms, the paths, and the lake are there to keep you silent company.







if you want to talk, and giggle, and talk art, or just laugh and chat and bond, there were plenty of opportunities to connect and stretch and bond, and just laugh...






sommers cottage was very charming in a rustic way, with a fabulous burning fireplace (that would somehow be magically lit by the time we'd get home from classes).  my cabin mates and my roomie were awesome.  so different, and from all over the world: japan, the cape, san fran, boston, texas, and new hampshire..  it was cold at night and we all sported warm socks, jackets, hats, and whatever else you could layer on.  so funny, one night it was SO cold i had about three blankets on, my clothes and my two jackets, and my scarf wrapped around my head.  when cheryl, my roomie woke in the morning was pretty hysterical laughing at me all bundled up into one big mess in the bed.  memories like this to last me a long while.




my first class painted icon, with misty mawn was an utter thrill for me.  i consider her my mentor, art-guru and master of all.  i for the first time created a piece using acrylic that i actually like.  it was as if there was an electric creative current in the air, and in addition to being gently guided by misty, it felt like a dream.  come. true.








my next class was sarah ahearn bellmare.  what a sweetheart she is.  and so super, like, super talented gal (btw i'll be saying 'gal' from now on thanks to my 'gal' cheryl).  she had the most incredible collection of vintage papers and ephemera and dictionaries, and books, and photocopies of vintage pics for us to use.  i was in utter shock at the sight of it all.  i wanted to just snag everything and run off with it.  she gave us these super 2 minute prompts to create, and boy, it's changed my life.  I had an 'aha' moment in her class which i'll discuss further in another post...  total AHA moment.  if you don't have her book yet, you MUST get it.  worth. every. single. penney.








my last class was with penelope dulligan, 'hand lettering'.  she's just so talented.  she made hand lettering look so easy.  but really, it's not..   there are so many tricks, some very suble that will totally change the look of your piece.  what i took away most from this class is that hand lettering isn't about your penmanship, it's about creating hand lettering to suit a piece... do you want it to demonstrate joy, or anger, or to light or dark, and so many way to express emotion, or a message through typography.  i also had an aha moment in her class.  i'll discuss this in a later post.


and the final event of the week was the vendor night.  here's who i met and what i bought:

emily falconbridge:  tee-skirt and bum skirt, clothes she upcycles from tee-shirts and sweaters.  and a felt package... SO COOL.  emily girl, i want to be you when i grow up.  i really do.  i only wish i had more time to chat with her...  and come on, isn't it funny to see her literally kneel down to my size.  sooo so funny.


sarah ahearn bellemare:  two beautiful prints and her book 'painted pages' (run and get it now if you don't have it)

mary beth shaw: wood icing and stencils

maya donenfeld:  aka maya made.  one of her coffee sack bags...  ADORABLE

flora bowley: i wanted her ipad case but it was sold out.  actually EVERYTHING she had sold out by the time i got there..lol

caryn lynn duncan:  mixed media artist:  three prints

hillary sloss:  cards with her beautiful photography on them

and thanks to elizabeth for creating squam.  and jen gray who gives the best hugs... and sharing stories about our moms.  and to jonatha for her beautiful singing voice and entertaining us all...  you ladies are gold.  pure. shining. gold.




and look below what misty brought for me, upon my request of course...  it'll be framed and hung on my wall very VERY soon.  isn't it beautiful.  i've had a photocopy of this on my wall for the longest time.  now i have the real deal.



and oh so much more, but think i better stop here otherwise this post could go on forever.

all in all.  it was a magical time.  it sparked so much creativity and ideas, and friendships that i never thought imaginable.  pushing through your fear.  it's a good thing.

hugs to you all my friends,

francesca

Thursday, September 8, 2011

it's been an intense week

1. a, 2. b, 3. c, 4. d, 5. e, 6. f, 7. g, 8. facesmoleskine1, 9. facesmoleskine2, 10. facesmoleskine3

it's been a pretty stressful six months.  and in times of stress i go to my art.  it's a great release for me and keeps me sane when there's insanity all around me.

well this week has especially been pretty insane.  and it shows.  it definitely shows in my art.  just look at the faces above.  they started off light and the more intense the week got, the darker and more sinister the faces became.  kinda like how i was feeling. 

what i have learned this week:  FOLLOW YOUR GUT INSTINCTS. 

you know what i mean.  that little voice in your head that's trying to tell you something.  well, LISTEN TO IT.  it's talking for a reason.  and i wish i had listened.  like.  really.  listened.  i made a very bad decision despite all the reservations i was feeling, and the outcome just came to give me a punch to the solar plexis.  yup.  i shouldda listened to my gut.  it never fails me. 

all i can say is, new hampshire, here i come. soooo ready for a delicious vacation. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

it was a pastel kind of night



soft black pastel in moleskine journal

1. black pastel faces1, 2. black pastel faces2, 3. black pastel faces4, 4. black pastel faces3, 5. black pastel faces5, 6. black pastel faces6

i bought me a package of soft pastels the other night at deserres, and did the speed walk all the way home so i could tear open the package and use them.  i thought i had bought the pack of mixed colours, but to my chagrin, what i ended up with was 12 sticks of black.  all 12.  black.  i'm such a dunce.  in my haste to buy them, i didn't check or read the package after grabbing it from the shelf.  why i assumed it was a multiple colour pack is beyond me.  moral of the story:  ALWAYS READ THE PACKAGE BEFORE BUYING.  lol

so, i  pulled out my moleskine and went to play.  um.  to my surprise, i'm in love with the black pastel.  love. it.  so glad i now have 12. of. them.

and yes, more faces.  obsessed with capturing the face. 

what have you created today?  what's your favorite pastel brand?