The ReVision this week is also our giveaway. Laura started this artwork by creating the paintings and sending them in the mail to Tina. Tina decided on adding a collage/drawing element that reflected the name of our blog “Two”. These two birds are a metaphor to our work together- coming from two different perspectives but hitting just the right note when together.
Each of these pieces will be adhered to a wood panel with final touches which will be ready to hang in your house. Details on how to enter our giveaway will be posted on Sunday along with our newly designed blog! See you then.
Today I wanted to highlight a project Laura and I have been working on for almost two years. Below is how we have described this project on our newly designed blog (4 days until we reveal it!):
Laura and Tina take turns adding to the book page by page. It is sent from Connecticut to South Carolina and back again. After creating a new page, she leaves a small image or object on the next page for the other as inspiration. This allows for the artists to add, elaborate, alter, and create together but at the same time leaving space for one’s own expressive ideas and aesthetics. Words and notes are often tucked into the artwork as the two artists explore shared authorship and visual dialog.
Click on a picture to see a detailed photo of each book page. I will be posting the newest page in a few days. I needed to stew for a bit on my page to see if I wanted to add anything before I sent it to Laura.
I wonder what projects you might have that spans over a long period of time. Will you share it with us?
Yesterday you emailed me and mentioned how excited you were to have a “me” day in the studio to reconnect with your work. So often we as individuals wear so many hats the “me” gets lost. Today I reconnected with my own work by starting this meditative painting. I used the bottle as a way to contain my wandering thoughts. Although still a work in progress it helped center me. Cherrio dah-ling! xoLaura
Tina’s Working Table Notes:
I had the most amazing working table and I forgot my camera! I will have to tell you about it and post a picture of the progress on our giveaway. Today I moved forward in a lot of my many studio projects. I have seven new boxes to dig into next time I am in my studio (I usually work on this many at the same time) and I have about eight small collages in the works. I will share these ideas once they are developed a bit more. You know what made a HUGE difference today? I did not have my computer all day to distract me. I accidentally forgot my power cord but I think it needs to forever stay at home now that I recognize how distracting that thing is! Also- I have almost completed my page in our book exchange. I am seriously on a roll.
On second thought, I was going to post a picture of the giveaway, but the photos are terrible under the lights in my house. I will take it tomorrow in daylight. Until then…..
This week our Vision comes to you in the form of a gift (in the making). Yes, we want to give you this artwork! Of course there is a catch…there always is right? Laura has begun this work with the painting and Tina will complete it with collage/drawing. Tina received the paintings in the mail last week and is working on it right now in her studio. The following is a peek at the paintings before they become altered by Tina’s work.
On Friday, Tina will be posting the ‘ReVision’ of these paintings once she is finished with her part, along with details on how to enter. Stay tuned!
~Laura & Tina~
I have mentioned in past posts having “goddess parties” with my friends in NH. They usually took place with the change of seasons and often had a theme. My fondest memories are of an eighties prom party where we all squeezed into our old prom dresses (elated mine still fit), a magical fairy party that started at my studio, creating the most fabulous fairy wings, and a summertime disco dance party on my deck, complete with tiaras, groovy music and delicious food and wine. I have only had one goddess party in Connecticut and although it was different, the same goddess energy and spirit spilled into our merry pink themed party, lovingly named the pink palooza goddess party! It took place on the most perfect spring day and was rich with silliness, creativity and friendship. We sat outside in our best pink duds, adorned with fluffy pink boas, sipping pretty pink drinks and savoring all the ways pink had inspired even the food. It was a most cherished day.
You can imagine how serendipitous it was for me to get a phone call from Patricia Hurley asking me to teach at BEAR (Bay End Art Retreats-Persephone Rising), a creative retreat for women she was putting together. She has created a whimsical, fun place where your spirit will surely be renewed complete with a wonderful line up of workshops revolving around the theme, Nature, Art and the Goddess (what could be more up my alley?!?). It reminded me of my magical time at SQUAM, but has a different intimacy in that the space is limited to 12 participants (so sign up early) and has the theme relating to the goddess. I will be teaching two exciting new workshops created with love especially for this retreat,The Fearless Goddessand The Intuitive GoddessBoth will inspire you long after BEAR. I am SO looking forward to a weekend of creative play and meeting new fabulous friends. Would love to see you there! Cheery Smiles & love, Laura
After reading your Vision for the week I let my mind wander to what simple things bring me JOY. One of the simplest indulgences I do for myself is buying fresh flowers. Even when I was dirt poor, living alone and trying to support myself on my meager teachers salary I managed to scrape up enough money to buy flowers (even if they were from the grocery store). These tulips, however fleeting make me smile and appreciate the hope of spring in the air and the ritual of renewal. Sending JOY your way…xoLaura
Tina's Revision 27
This post is a mix of our Vision/ReVision, Working Table, and the announcement of our new blog design. This morning, while trying to sneak in a little creative time before I went to teach, I began the work on our new collaborative project. As the work was spread out on my table I thought of your Vision for this week with the layers of papers. These papers in the photo, being part of our ‘give away’ when we launch the blog next week, marks a new series of collaborative works for us. I have been thinking about all your color and composition and have decided to incorporate some sort of bird imagery (two birds of course). When I have completed them, I will post the results along with the directions for our give-away if people out there want to participate. It will be FREE art for those that do. That is the best deal out there right now for a beginner or experienced art collector!
After reading Tina’s post yesterday about supporting the arts I thought I would share some exciting news of support in the arts within the town of Westerly, RI where I have mystudio. I am fortunate to be a part of a wonderful community of artists through the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly. Our gallery just moved to a newly renovated, nostalgic space almost four times the size of where we were!!!
(notes from ACGOW’s website)
The gallery has been transformed from the former Montgomery Ward Building adjacent to the historic United Theatre. Both buildings are owned by The Westerly Land Trustas part of its urban revitalization program. There are plans to further revive the downtown and its historic buildings by focusing developmental growth in this already urbanized area. “These efforts to create a more vibrant town center will, in effect, allow preservation of outlying natural areas currently under development pressure,” said Kelly Presley, Executive Director of the Westerly Land Trust. She added, “After moving our WLT office downtown, I became better acquainted with ACGOW when they used WLT’s Industrial Trust building as gallery space for their past two annual auctions and during monthly art stroll nights. Through these events, we have developed a wonderful partnership that has now led to this fabulous opportunity. WLT is so very pleased to have this group of talented artists move in and bring life to a currently vacant space on Canal Street.
The Artists Cooperative Gallery of Westerly has displayed art at the same location at 12 High Street for almost two decades. The move will combine excitement with nostalgic shock for many of the Gallery’s friends and supporters and also its members. Mary Anne Sherman, the galleries president said her thoughts on signing the new lease included both. “We’re going to be able to do so much more; include more artists, have larger and more varied exhibits and more workshops. ACGOW is really a unique organization and I’m so proud to see it grow and to be part of the revitalization of that part of downtown. It’s a little bittersweet leaving our home of over 19 years but hopefully it just means that now there’s another space available for more art galleries to come into town.”
It is my dream to further the discussion Tina started and collectively look for ways to show support of the arts so more galleries continue to thrive. Please leave any suggestions you may have in either of our posts, or better yet, make a contribution to a gallery or support an artist by purchasing their work. After all, what would life be like without the arts?
The other day I received news that a wonderful business in Charleston is closing. Andrea Schenck at Plum Elements Gallery has hosted not only my work in group exhibits and a solo exhibit, but also the collaborative work Laura and I created last Fall. I know, times are hard for everyone…but I wanted to make mention of this passing as a way to open up a conversation/awareness of what the regular joe/jane can do. It is my hope that those who read this blog and appreciate the arts will make some sort of action to reflect that appreciation. You might say “I don’t have any money to buy artwork/theatre tickets/music tickets/dance/etc”, but there a many other actions to take to send the message to your local community that the arts MATTER.
First, a list of WHY the arts matter (written by Elliot Eisner –these are written in an educational context to demonstrate why the arts matter to our humanity not just our finances, although the creative people are generating a lot of money for the city…but that is for another post)
Buy a book from your local independent book seller about an artist (or get it from the library)
I am sure everyone out there has more suggestions about how we can support the arts (and the businesses that support the arts) in this economy, so please leave your comments. You might spark an idea in another town across the country.
Thank you Andrea for always supporting a strong and talented crew of artists at Plum Elements. I know Andrea has plans for a party in a few weeks, so those of you who are local, keep your ears open. I know I will definitely be there.
We appreciate your support
and hope that you will stop by or phone to get that item you’ve long been thinking about, before the doors close. Your kind reception and warm encouragement of the offerings and space Plum Elements has provided have meant a lot. The last three and a half years have gone by in a blink. Thanks for helping to make it all possible.
Beginning this week, items will be reduced as we take steps to close Plum Elements on King Street. Many thanks again.
Plum Elements, LLC
161 1/2 King Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Tina’s Working Table Notes: today was spent thinking about our collaborative book exchange. I am building on your nest image with torn text pages (a vintage book about how to run a school in the 20′s). I am planning to cut this paper to reveal some sort of tree branch that might extend onto the next page. Still thinking and working….
Laura's working table
Laura’s Working Table Notes: Today was spent revisiting this piece. I collaged the background with text that was sent to me by many friends in response to the question, “What do you know about friendship?” It is a continuous thread in my work as it expresses connection, thought and love (Tina’s writing is in the top left). The colorful layers on top represent growth. It is still a work in progress.
On Sunday I spent some time in the studio with the intention of working on some unfinished pieces. I found myself moving things around, cleaning and reorganizing. As I worked I kept asking myself if this was the best use of my time and whether or not I was avoiding the work. Pam Hall, (one of our fantastic advisors from Goddard) would say this was part of the creative process. Acknowledging this grounded me as I allowed myself to be led. While shuffling things around I uncovered some semi-forgotten, beautifully handwritten old papers from the 1800’s. Memories flooded through me like my breath and I was transported to the most magical day in Paris with my very good friend Enid. I had unearthed them at a flea market. Together we enjoyed the most delicious hot chocolate I had ever had at a lovely place called, Angelina’s. We had to wait an hour in line but we didn’t care, we were in Paris! I also loved the many quaint cafe’s as well as the and history that encompassed all of the art we saw. This trip, like most trips I have taken widened my perspective, filling me with new ways of seeing. Having this quiet time to myself was necessary. It allowed me to make some new connections and rediscover the direction I wanted to go. By reconnecting with myself I could connect to the work. Sending you a delectable cup of that magnificent cocoa. xoL
Tina's Vision 27
My Vision this week comes from my kitchen. Yesterday was spent with my family walking, playing cards, watching movies, and cooking. No work, just joy (nice). My husband, Chris, made the gnocci from scratch in the photo above. It was amazing! The boys and I made the cookies- a recipe adapted with sunbutter instead of peanutbutter. Our son is allergic to peanuts so we have been revisiting old recipes we used to eat but with sunbutter (made with sunflower seeds). I enjoy days like this so much because our usual meals are something like pizza or grilled cheese with tomato soup that are usually rushed. A delicious meal and a day with the boys (with very little arguing between them….a gift all in itself) is what keeps me going through the week.
Tiny little hint...(Collaborative Book Project, Laura)
Hello my Sweet T~
How are you? I am sending you a little snippet from the next book page that is on it’s way to you. I will post the full spread along with my thoughts when I know you have received it. Until then I will leave you riddled with wonder…xoLaura
In thinking about your Vision for the week I asked myself the same question as to whether I was “walking the walk” in my practice as you mentioned. I am curious how you felt being back in your studio this week. The Blast Off class I have been talking with you about has left me overwhelmed with excitement and grand “to do” lists. My teacher, Alyson Stanfield started our last class today saying “You can’t do it all” and ” you are right where you should be.” She recognized how much content was in this class and that we are all in different places in our lives, careers and creative practices. I really appreciated hearing that. Even though I have done a lot of work for this class I had been feeling like there was so much more I wanted to accomplish. Alyson suggested partnering up with someone from the class to check in with since the class was ending, as a way to hold ourselves accountable. I loved knowing I already had someone and that was you. We do this naturally and now having created monthly goals with you for both our personal and creative practices I feel more relaxed and able to enjoy a nice cup of coffee with you, my friend, even if it is virtually. We will always have more to do but knowing how our friendship strikes just the right balance I will savoring this moment and look forward to our exciting year ahead…
Love you! Laura
Tina's ReVision 26
Your thoughtful Vision this week had me thinking about the transience to all of life. Whether it is our loved ones around us or the things we hold dear, we are all here floating on the course of time. It can start making your mind spin thinking of all the infinate possiblities of how we ended up who we are with the grand shuffle of DNA. What are the chances that we are traveling this earth with these particular people in this particular time? Yes, the mind is spinning. As I was thinking this, I looked out the window of my sunroom and spied two birds chatting it up in a tree. It seemed to illustrate exactly what I was thinking about at the moment. AND how we often think of our selves as two birds stopping for a moment to connect. We leave and fly about our business to return again to the same tree. How lucky we are to have the people we have in this moment in this particular time.
Here I am with my good friends Carrie and Jackie (guest artist).
Jaclyn Murphy's Jazzy Jewels
The Fabulous Sue Thomas's display at the studio
(from left to right) Kathy Johnson, Lisa Szaro, Jaclyn Murphy, Sue Thomas & I enjoying a glass of vino & having some fun painting some ornaments at the end of our busy day.
Our fun creations after a long day...
Dear Tina & friends,
WIth the hustle and bustle of the holidays and getting everything prepared for our Open Studio Extravaganza last month I realized I never shared the highlights of the magical event. Behind the scenes we were busy months before painting, cleaning, organizing & decorating to create an invitingly warm, festive atmosphere complete with bows, balls, greens and ribbons. We had a fantastic turnout and it was well worth all the hard work. Having the studios open for two days was new for us but allowed people to come who wouldn’t have been able to come otherwise. This included my mom and all of her sisters (my sweet aunties)!!! They traveled all the way from both NH and MA and I cannot tell you how much it meant to me to have them there. My heart was FULL and I was overwhelmed with gladness and joy! They were also able to stop intoSOLE STUDIO and see some of the work my new friend, Julia the owner has let me display in her beautiful shop (if you get a chance stop in tell her hello!). Having guest artists in the studio for the first time brought many new faces along with a delightful energy. We are excited to be thinking and dreaming about our Spring Open Studio event that will take place around Mother’s Day.
In addition to all of this, we had the fabulous Steve Conn of Sconvideo at the studio to record the event and interview some of the artists. Steve is a dream to work with and graciously donated his time documenting our special day. We could not be more grateful! Thank you Steve!!! To see more of his work visit his website and see him work his magic on many different types of video.
I would love to know what you think, especially if you were able to attend the event. We would welcome any ideas you may have for our next “Extravaganza.”
I wanted to take a moment to share a book that Laura and I are currently reading. It is written by the internationally know choreographer Twyla Tharp titled The Collaborative Habit; Life Lessons For Working Together. Laura and I both have her previous book titled The Creative Habit which we agreed to go back and revisit at a later date. For now, we are delighted to have found this book because it speaks directly the importance of the work we have done and will do in this collaborative blog. Not only is she to be admired as a pioneer for women in the arts (all of whom we owe thanks for paving the road for us today- I will be touching on more women artists this year in my posts), but also for how she articulates the process of an artist’s life.
So far, I have only read up to page 13, but already I have many dog eared pages and underlined sentences (I am sure you do too Laura). Here is one quote to give you all a sense of what the book is about:
“…more and more of us are realizing that the brilliant CEO, the politician who keeps his own counsel, and the lone hero are yesterday’s role models. The media may still love them, but our new heroes are men and women who know how to gather allies, build teams, and work together toward shared goals. Name an enterprise, and you will find levels of collaboration that were unthinkable just a few years ago. The real success stories of our time are about joint efforts: sports teams, political campaigns, businesses, causes.” -pg. 7
If anyone else is reading this book at the moment, drop us a line about what you think of it. We will do the same as we dive into her book further. Happy reading!
Tina’s Working Table Notes: Today was a day of experimenting. I used my Dremmel tool for the first time and ripped apart a piece of art I made two years ago to reinvent it into a new idea. My backdrop today is the filming of Army Wives right outside my studio, so I feel a bit distracted by the onlookers into my studio.
Laura's working table Jan. 26
Laura’s Working Table Notes: Today I finished our Collaborative book, along with all of the backgrounds for our new upcoming collaborative project, so look forward to that in the mail shortly. I will post a tiny little glimpse soon! What you see on my working table is the “vision” or “prosperity board” I have been working on for my Blast Off Class. The idea is to clarify what you would like to see in your life and create a visual collage of images which represent these things to you. Couch Rachelle Disbennett-Lee believes they are are a powerful tool because the appeal directly to the right side of your brain, which is the part of your brain that responds to feelings and images. You can learn more about them HERE. These boards have come up in various books I have read over the years and truthfully I have never wanted to take the time to make one. Ironically when I thought about all the images I have tacked up on my bulletin board over the years, I realized that most of those things have come into my life, so I believe there is something to them. We shall see…
Guess the first place I would go on a “warm” January day in New England? To theBluff, to the Bluff, to the Bluff, Bluff, Bluff! I delighted in tromping through the muddy trails and breathing in the fresh air over the weekend. It felt wonderful being outdoors after cozying up inside for the past few months. I have Spring fever already which has manifested into the need to let go of the attachments gathering dust in my studio, home and soul. Both Alyson Stanfield’sBlast Offclass and a moving email from my sweet friend Tricia’s husband prompted a much needed movement in this direction.
As you know, my sweet Tricia lost her battle with cancer close to two years ago. Her husband was ready let go of some of her possessions and let her friends know they were welcome to choose what they would like. I knew immediately the only thing I wanted. This was her goddess candle. A goddess candle is what my friends, “the goddess sisters” would bring to the lively parties I hosted at my magical cottage in NH. It was a way for us to acknowledge our fierce individual spirits and time together. Tricia’s candle represented my memories of all the fun times we had together. My hope was to continue this tradition at future goddess parties and anytime I needed to feel her presence and all the goodness she possessed. I guess I wasn’t the only one who felt this way as the candle had already found a new home by the time I inquired about it. I sat with my sadness and disappointment while at the Bluff, pondering my attachment to things, whether it be this candle or all of the other stuff in my life. I finally concluded that just like the ice breaking in this picture, it was time to let go of my attachment to “things.” I know that no single object could ever take away the love I will always hold deep in my heart for Trish. Sending you and all my fierce goddess sisters (both new and old) love, memories and a peaceful heart. You mean the world to me! xoLaura
Tina's Vision 26
Dear Laura, My Vision this week is a ‘mash-up’ of today and yesterday. A picture at home of my teacup and a photo from our trip to NYC. I am thinking today about all that we had talked about regarding our art practices and seeing how the talk is matching up with my walk today in my studio. One thing I know for sure is that patience is in order and trust that I will (and am) actually making strides forward. Patience, patience, patience!
Laura and Tina will be starting a new series of photos in a weekly post titled “Working Table”. We will simply take a photo of the table we are working at all day while in the studio. It is one more step toward our greater goal of revealing the process of our work as artists. We were inspired by Gabriel Orozco’s exhibit at the NYC Museum of Modern Art and his ‘working table’. It was a large table with seemingly random objects on it. We didn’t see what the big deal was until we started to look closer and see the connections of experiments and objects to the ‘completed’ work in the gallery. We rarely see the artist’s thinking process in a museum or gallery. One of our big questions and reasons for writing in this blog is:
How can one articulate the process of creating and not just the product of creating?
With our Working Table posts we intend to explore this question. Perhaps you will also share your Working Table photos with us as well. We would enjoy posting yours alongside ours each week.
Since much of our focus is on the creative process and collaboration I thought I would share how this takes place in the classroom. Yesterday I was blown away by what my students (friends) brought in to share for the “Fearless Sketchjournaling” class I am teaching at the Mystic Arts Center. As you know my believe as an educator is that everyone has something unique to share, individual to their experiences. If we are open we have the ability to stretch ourselves to widen our perspective and grow beyond what we presently know. This could be artists we had never heard of like John Haberie or Sandra Allen, quotes, places to visit, museums, galleries and the list goes on. Trying to create a forum for this in my classes I invited my students (friends) to bring in things they came across during the week that have inspired them. Here are a some of the great resources they shared. I can feel new books coming to the bookshelf…
http://www.robertgenn.com/A letter was shared from the twice-weekly letters this artist writes. It was inspiring enough for me to subscribe myself.
*I will be sure to share more resources as they come about and would love to know any inspiration you found this week and continue “collaborating.”
Cheery Smiles, Laura
“Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviors, keep your behaviors positive because your behaviors become your habits, keep your habits positive because your habits become your values, keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” ~Mohatma Gandi
Laura and I have completed the art piece above for our new blog we are launching in a few weeks. This piece of art will be the opening image/banner. This took the better part of the studio day when we were together. The work started out with two birds on a telephone wires, which we thought would represent the two of us. As the ideas came and went along with negotiating our individual visions with our common visions we are happy with the result. Below are some studio pictures as we worked together…
At the working table in Laura's studio
We had a great time and plan to have a third Studio Collaboration soon!