Thursday, March 31, 2016

Life is a circle

 I have been walking through the basement and surprised with the inclusion of my work from a sculpture class included in my daughter's room/studio.
   These boots were the highlight of my Senior year.  When you create something in college, it is not only the finished product, but the reaction of others who see it.  My sculpture teacher loved this and everything about them.  Which, coming from an accomplished Artist came as a complete surprise to me.   The idea came so easy to me.  It was a time my husband was working very hard as a union carpenter.  I would just stare at his shoes at night and think about how hard he worked.  I wanted him to know how much I appreciated it and they became what I wanted to make a sculpture of and when it came time to finish them the decision to make them bronze, like people would bronze baby shoes....that came quite easy to me too.  It really was my crowning glory of my college days and I loved how it made Glen happy too.
This was a sculpture project of making a sculpture from a painting.  It was Matisse's Green Woman.  I didn't know how to paint it.  But, now 25 years later I want to paint it like it is in the painting, so it would be recognized for who she is.

 The name of my sculpture teacher was Michael Malpass.  He would bring his children in to model.  This is his youngest son.  I never sculpted before, but I really enjoyed the process.  The longest part is hollowing out the center just enough, so it doesn't explode in the kiln.  Very challenging, everything was made with terra cotta clay.

All of the sculptures were in the basement windows.  When I walked away I had to take a picture, because of what my daughter had put on the wall.  The work on the left was my weaving project of the ocean.  The middle was a textile design based on Western America which she shared on Instagram.  After I saw the likes and reactions it motivated me to paint again.  On the right is a lino print of a panda.  This was carved into a linoleum block and printed with black ink for printmaking class.  This was called Patient Panda.  I was going through intensive fertility treatments at the time and was totally relating to the panda bears, who only have the chance of getting pregnant once a year.  The one on top my mom did which is the holy family made as a relief she had made with one of our neighbors who owned a craft store after they were empty nesters.  Art for me has been the greatest healer and form of getting through anything life has presented me.  It is challenging yet fulfilling.  It allowed me to express myself when words failed.    When you are a student you may not even realize this unless you have the right teacher.  Michael Malpass was that teacher for me.  I remember his first class was really an open discussion of why each student was in college majoring in Art, and it was fascinating to hear each student.  Then we were able to hear his story and see slides of his work and why he created each one.  So, by the time we met his children we knew that family was a big part of his work.  He never actually said it, but I myself felt like his work took on a life themselves and represent the circle of life.  
I, myself, said last year when I had lunch with classmates from elementary school had this feeling of my life being a circle and my circle is closed now.  All the things I wondered about myself have come true and the circle is closed.  But, opportunities like feeling like a kid again and sharing a meal and conversation with people I haven't seen for forty plus years was so pleasant and hugely fulfilling.  It was like filling up the circle and I actually verbalized that in conversation.  This was a big deal for me as I was a very quiet child, not usually very much of a small talker and really quite nervous in social situations.  
When, Michael Malpass talked about his life, his family always was part of the lesson.  They meant the world to him.  He had moved them from the city down to Brick Township for a slower pace of life.  He gave up teaching at Pratt to slow down and have more time with his family and he was working a lot on his spheres in his big backyard.  He would talk about it a lot.  He liked to fish and my husband at the time was fishing a lot also.  His class was always a pleasure, because he shared so much of himself with us.  I would have loved to have continued to pursue something in Art after college, but really there aren't too many opportunities in the arts and ended up in retail to have a career.  I did get pregnant finally in 1991 and at the same time found out that Michael Malpass had died of a heart attack at the age of 44.  I can't remember if I was pregnant or had the twins yet, but it didn't matter.  All I could think of was his family and what a huge loss this must have been for them.
So, back to 2015......opening my mail after the lunch with my friends from elementary school there is a mailer for events at Monmouth University and I flip through it and there is a great photo of Bruce Springsteen with a movie showing and then I turn the page to see a retrospective of Michael Malpass with a picture of one of his spheres.  It's been a long wait, but tomorrow is the opening at Monmouth University, the students have also made a documentary of his life.  You can find more information here  I am really looking forward to filling up the circle of my life again.  Life is good, especially when you are lucky enough to have memories of people who have enriched your life so much.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that's always blue

“May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day.

May songbirds serenade you every step along the way.

May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that’s always blue.

And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.”

~ Irish Blessing

Watching the Philadelphia St. Patrick's Day parade today, and there was a float honoring the Irish Memorial.  These pictures were taken on our visit to see the Pope.  When we got off the ferry and went up the hill this is where we stopped to look at the Memorial.  I was intrigued at first sight.  I first loved how when taking the picture, it was fascinating how the outreached hand could play with the sunlight.  

So, it reminded me to look up the artist today.  I was fascinated.  So very happy it is a woman artist.
It is actually a Memorial depicting the potato famine in Ireland which brought so many emigrants to the United States, many of which came to Philadelphia.  So, when I found out the name of the Artist I have spent a lot of the day reading about her.  Very fascinating and I am in awe of her!  Her name is Glenna Goodacre (what a great name for a public sculptor).  If you would like to read more about her, you can follow the link here.  I loved that she also designed the Sacajewa dollar coin.  She has one daughter and she is married to Harry Connick Jr.    Very glad I was able to revisit this Memorial through the internet and hope you were inspired too.  Love the line on the memorial also:  to celebrate what survives-without apology or fear.  All, so great for an inspirational St. Patrick's day in 2016!   May you have a happy one!

Friday, March 4, 2016

What inspires every single one of us?

 This is the card my parents gave me for my graduation from high school.  I still remember their face  after graduation when I was going out with my friends and not out to dinner with them.  I remember I didn't think I was that smart or did that well in high school.  When I found out I had to stand, because I was graduating with honors, I was stunned.  Honestly, I thought I was average.  When I read this card I took in every single word that was written to me.  I don't think I ever verbalized to my parents how much it meant to me.  But, it was a huge validation for me.  My parents took the time during a very chaotic time in our family.  I am so glad I saved this card and that I am sharing it with others.  In this world today, as I am writing this, I think it is so turbulent for just someone to feel like they are who they want to be.  Everything is so confusing and media driven.  It feels good today to turn off the TV and write this.  I feel we are inspired and influenced so much by our parents.  My parents both had a college education and I feel were both successful and I did feel a lot of pressure to be a success in their eyes.  After having children I then changed to feel the need to be successful in their eyes.  This is where my deep love of Art appreciation comes in.  My parents both painted before they had children.  I painted before I became a parent.  But, I haven't really painted since.  My daughter Kaylyn moved back in with us.  She spends most of her free time when not working.....painting.  Occasionally, I make it down stairs to my craft (crap) room and walk by her room.  Little by little she is pulling out my work from college.  She is pulling out pictures of string art created by my husband.  I then realize I have inspired her.  What a great feeling.  I look at this graduation card and I never knew what I wanted to be.  I was a waitress when I met Glen and hey, the money wasn't bad, but, I knew there was something out there more to reach for.  So, this year 2016 I am giving to myself.  I sort of did this when I first went back to work in 2013.  Last year I concentrated on putting my heart in our store, so I would have no regrets.  So, this year is a year for days off to fill the well.  Go with the flow......just see what happens.  It is off to a great start and I have been inspired in my travels and watching my children talents bloom.  I am setting goals in every part of my life such as my weight, finances, work, family, house and so far so good.  I, also have a problem with saving things....I guess that  is the hoarder gene in me.
 So, that is something I am working on too.  But, clearly this is something I saved and for good reason.  The quote on the front is priceless and timeless.  I can feel close to my dad even though he is gone.  I have their handwriting which is comforting.  It is all positive.  I love certain parts, especially the part about time accelerating and my love for peanut butter.  I love that their is the sky and seagull....very dreamy.  And, the colors.......I LOVE blue and white!!!  I want to be more creative this year and not too sure what I am going to do, yet.  But, I bought marking pens with every shade of blue.  Maybe, I will start journaling along with blogging.

How Great The Art!

Decided to start a new blog.  It will be a blog full of inspiration.  It will be full of what makes my heart go pitter patter.  It may be as simple as finding a hidden heart in nature, favorite quote, photograph, museum visit, public art or music.
Please follow my blog to be inspired too!