Join me....

I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Art to Save the Sea

I am in awe when something terrifically creative 
sends an equally powerful message...I simply want 
to kneel in my tracks and say grace for the energy 
and courage it takes to present this work to the world.

If you can relate then don't miss the presentation of sculptures in "Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea" at the Brevard County Zoo now through May 8.  It'll blow your socks off, give you a giggle and make you swear to never again purchase a plastic bottle of water.

Here's the greeter for your walk, an adorable seal pup who, unfortunately, may lose his life from being tangled in fishing nets and other debris that float through the oceans as trash.  He is a cutie but look closer:

He is built entirely of recycled garbage that has been removed from our beaches by volunteers.  Yes, every piece used in the exhibit is material found in huge quantities along our public shorelines.

Here's an idea of the scale of the pieces, that's my husband peering closely at a quizzical puffin.

We are partial to sea turtles in Brevard County as we are one of the noted beaches where female loggerheads return annually to lay their eggs in huge nests they dig near the dunes.  This leatherback sea turtle is surfing in on a wave made from...plastic.  Mounds and mounds of plastic bottles, mostly filled with plastic line and plastic ropes, make up the cresting wave.

Here she is close up, her leather like shell constructed of tires, flip flops, plastic coated wires and bottle caps.

Angela Haseltine Pozzi, an exhibiting artist and educator for 35 years, is the founder and artistic director of the Washed Ashore Project out of Brandon, Oregon.  Realizing that the very place she went for healing, the ocean and it's shores, was in dire need of of healing itself, she established the organization to use art as a powerful tool for community action. While the exhibits tour to garner attention there is also an educational component and ways to become involved.

An up close inspection will reveal this tiger shark is constructed from shot gun shells, sandals,disposable lighters, plastic bottles, their caps, toy shovels and boogie boards just to name a few.  And the signage reminds us that many tiger sharks have been found with tires, license plates and other plastic debris in their stomachs.    So sad.

If you can visit this exhibit in person I encourage you to do so....if not, please enjoy a virtual visit by clicking on the links above.  I will never again look at a plastic water bottle in quite the same way.

Just another way that art enriches our lives.

Color Fully Yours,

Friday, February 5, 2016

Best Wall Color for Art


     Hi Cindy - I have a wall that I am going 
to turn into an art gallery.  It is in a hall outside
 our bedroom.  What might be a 
good color to paint this wall....?

I love to get questions from readers - my answers are only an opinion but may be I can offer some helpful ideas.  When I received this inquiry about wall color this is what I replied:

A:  My simple answer is: a deep shade of your favorite color.

Have you ever noticed how museums and galleries repaint their walls before a show?  Most often they choose bold colors which allow the paintings to literally pop off the walls.  When the walls are pale the frames and the mats (usually white toned) seem to fade away and the paintings are not as vibrant.

I realize that few of us want to paint all the walls of our homes in dark shades but keep in mind you are planning to create a "gallery wall" to hold many paintings of different sizes.  I have searched for the "perfect" color to no avail, choosing your favorite will be something fun to live with AND no doubt that color will be found in many pieces of the art you have already selected, even if you don't realize it at first.

When we redid our kitchen I used this piece for my color palate for the entire house.  I love the way the strong turquoise helps this rooster jump right out.  Prior to this wall color I had a deep cherry red kitchen and absolutely anything I hung on the wall looked fabulous.  A hairdresser in town always features art in her studio and chose deep plum for her walls, the result is any art hung looks museum worthy.

art by: Mari Conneen
(Mari must fly under the radar as this old u-tube of her
studio was the best source I could pull up of this
incredible artist)

Here are my tangerine walls in the dining room.  This delicate camellia takes on new prominence with a deep hue behind it.  Imagine how lost the thin gold frame and white mat would be on a white or beige wall.  

Look around your home and find your favorite color (don't try to match anything in particular) now go to the paint aisle and look for up to date hues of that color, something bold and deep and luscious.  I think your art will be happy hanging on that background and I know it will give you a lift every time you leave your bedroom and traverse your hallway art gallery.  Have fun with it and please send me a before and after picture.  

Hope this helps some other folks dip their wall brush into something a bit more daring than beige.

Color Fully Yours,

Monday, January 25, 2016

Working on the Road...

Q:  What happens when you take a vacation but love the work you leave behind?
A:   You take it with you!

Here's my most recent "office"....or as we artists say: portable studio.  Sunshine, birds, and no housework or laundry calling to me.

The project I brought involved recycling some wooden toys I made 30-odd years ago as a gift for one of these fellows; I wanted to make them pretty enough to appeal to the other one.  Despite some nicks and dents I didn't see why I couldnt spruce them up enough to serve yet another generation.


As a young mother I found a tiny thrift shop wagon which I repurposed into an "ark."  I borrowed a friend's jig saw and cut out the little wooden animals "two by two". I remember falling in love with the magic of the saw and being so satisfied with the wonderful well as keeping all 10 fingers intact.  Unfortunately, many years of play and attic storage left them a little drab looking.

My plan was to use non-toxic acrylic paint with a light coat of a finish.  It's important to check for the non-toxic seal if painting anything for babies or children...most everything they touch ends up in their mouth.

Loving the colors!

From this (above) to this (below).....

After I paint the animal names on the back of each one I will coat them with a protective finish, spruce up ole Noah's ark and be ready to get down on the floor and play.  I sure hope the next owner will enjoy playing with them half as much as I did making them.

Ok, packing these up for now.  Lighting a camp fire and settling in to enjoy.  Who knows what I'll be working on in my traveling studio tomorrow?  Feeling lucky I have a "job" I can take almost anywhere with a little prep.  That's just another one of the benefits of Living With Art!

The Happy Camper,

Friday, January 22, 2016


Time for the annual burn...

It has become an annual event: a cold night bonfire to offer up art of the past year: failed experiments, pieces that didn't make the "cut," damaged frames and the like.  I have friends who lament this process (and one who tried to abscond with some in the dark of night) but I stick to my guns.  The why is difficult to explain except that it is hard to see your "not best" work in the world regardless of what someone else thinks of it.  It is also a practical move: one cannot afford to house the 10,000 pieces it takes to perfect any particular craft.  So burn it is.

This being the Year of the Downsize we added a few additional pieces to the ritual: diplomas (no office walls), journals (boring even to me), cast off poetry (my Rod McKuen-esque phase) and a few family portraits that I couldn't bear to send to the dump to be chewed up with everyone's garbage.  A funeral pyre is so much more dignified and ceremonial.

Good bye old paintings, you were important stepping stones to my future.

There is only a pile of ashes in our fire pit this morning.  But instead of sadness my heart is filled with wide open space ready to be filled with new work and as-of-yet unpainted masterpieces.  Only by clearing out space, mentally and physically, do I have the room to make new.  Try it. ** Let me know what you think.

** I would be remiss if I did not remind you that these bonfires should take place outside in the open air.  Some types of paints, leathers, photo-finishes etc are more toxic than others and should not be directly inhaled.  

Friday, January 15, 2016

Never say a Cow

I have said, for the record more than once, that I would never, never, no never paint a cow.

Not because I do not like cows, I do.  But because many fine painters (and dozens of not so fine ones) have paid homage to the cow.  The world has enough cow paintings I believed.  Even turned down a commission due to its "cow-ness."
And so, in true form to the many things I vow never to do, I did.  I painted a cow.  And how!  

What now of my vow to never, ever paint a cow?  

Well, it is quite simple: I met this cow, up close and personal, on a hike one day with friends.  She was nonplussed that we stopped to speak to her and not at all upset that I took photos.  She raised her head and cocked her ears and truly seemed a bit bored over the fuss we were making but....but now I had a cow friend.  And now I felt, well, qualified to paint a cow.  She was my model and my muse and so maybe the world could use one more painting of a cow.

And you know what my Dad used to say about purple cows?  That he'd rather see than be one?  So again for the record, my friend here is trending toward pink.

This happy masterpiece also has another "never" claim.  It is painted in acrylic.  Yep, I intended to finish the basic under painting with oil but got going and couldn't quit.  I never paint an entire piece in acrylic but the colors were popping and interacting and proving themselves worthy.

So, here it is, one semi-huge acrylic piece, of a cow, 24" x 36" on cradled board, $700.00.  Frame optional.  

If I still own it this time next year I'll know my instincts about enough cow paintings in the world were correct!  Do you want to help it Moooooo-ve along to a new home?

Eating cow...I mean:crow!

Friday, January 1, 2016

"Seeing" the Future


First Day 2016
Welcoming a New Year

Mysterious. Slightly revealed but lacking definition.  Elegant.  Clouded in possibility.  Stark but gentle, waiting for more color to emerge.

All these thoughts came to mind when my colleague and friend Patti shared her photo of the morning which greeted her January 1, 2016.  I couldn't stop looking at it; I realized I vacillated between being mesmerized by the abstraction and wanting to wipe the glass clean for a clearer view.

Then it came to me that this feeling is exactly my reaction to starting a new year.  The future is looming, beckoning, but not divulging all it is or will be.  It is teasing me, hinting as to what may come but keeping all its options just slightly hidden.  And much like the photo, this is what captures me most about the wonderful clean slate we get every 365 days:  we have a vague idea about what may happen, but there are no sure bets....

I receive many blogs about goal setting, planning, scripting what needs to be done in the new year.  I'm not sure that's what I want to do right now.  But I found a question posed by Alyson Stanfield ( that resonates with me: 

What creative project is scary enough that it will help you grow...?

That's a powerful question for each of us and one I am chewing on very seriously.  And going back to the photo...there is a touch of the scary in it perhaps, or no? Hmmm, what do you see?

Black and white thoughts for a color filled year,

Photo credit: Patti Conner-Greene, Linville, North Carolina, potter extraordinaire, enthusiastic teacher, gifted photographer and all round creative soul, check out her work and studio at Used with her permission.  All rights reserved.