Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Cleaning

I recently completed a project I have been wanting to tackle for about 8 years. I painted my office.

My office space is separate from my studio space. My office is in my home and it is where I perform everything I do that requires my computer including printing the images that I eventually hand-color. A large percentage of my work gets done at home since I have declared my studio space a "no tech zone". My studio is where I do all of my hand-coloring as well as teach workshops and show my work. Not having a computer there eliminates many distractions.

Painting my office gave me a good chance to clean out and organize my work space. What it also gave me was about a weeks worth of anxiety as my dedicated space was turned upside down.

I am not one of those artists that seem to thrive in chaos. As a matter of fact, I am quite the opposite. I need my space to be free of clutter and dust bunnies before I can really accomplish anything.

This almost obsessive trait may be one of the reasons I had trouble declaring myself an "artist". I am too clean to be an "artist". I am too organized to really be an "artist".

There are so many myths surrounding the "artistic lifestyle" including the one about artists creating while oblivious to the mess that surrounds them. Granted, most of these artists had someone to clean up after them, but the myth has prevailed.

So while I still sometimes worry about being too anal to deserve the title "artist", the truth is my passion lies in creating images that soothe and inspire and how would I be able to do that in a space that makes me feel anxious and out of sorts? I don't think I would be able to. I believe my desire to create images that are calming is a direct result of my compulsive "tendencies".

All I know is that when I finally got my office back together I was filled with satisfaction and delight every time I walked in the room. While it doesn't sound very romantic, if vacuuming and dusting are what's needed to get my creative juices flowing, then that's what I will do.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Writers's Journal

I am excited to announce the publication of the 2009 Writers Journal - "Collection of Jewish Women's Writings". Some of my images are included in the journal, as well as the cover. This is the passionate vision of Leah Kotkes and I was thrilled to be invited to submit images for this year's issue. More details can be found on their website -

Working on this project with Leah and her publisher Ariel, both based in Israel, really illuminated how the Internet has brought the global community together. The time difference sometimes made for an interesting lag between emails, but for the most part the whole experience was smooth and rewarding.

Congratulations Leah!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Well, I have been "blogging" for a year now. My first post appeared on February 29, 2008. Because of leap year, I really don't have an anniversary date, but I can still celebrate.

It's interesting thinking back about when I started this "experiment". I was close to starting my show season, I was anxiously awaiting application results, and gearing up for another busy year. I had no idea that a year later, life would be so different. Who knew that I would be leading workshops instead of going to shows? If nothing else, this blog has served as a reminder of what life is like when it's all about art festivals. I am feeling pretty good about my decision right now, especially reading about all the stress I was experiencing waiting to hear if I got into the shows I applied for.

I will miss seeing my friends though and may even make a trip or two just to visit. I received an email out of the blue last week from Terry Steinke. Terry's etchings are amazing by the way! (I own one!) Anyway, he had somehow stumbled upon my journal and found out that I wasn't going to be joining in all the fun this year and wrote to say he would miss seeing me at the shows. It was great to hear from him but it did remind me that I will miss the camaraderie that naturally occurs when you are in close quarters for a few days with people that share similar values, passions and certain neurotic tendencies.

So now that I have written proof that so much can change in a year, it will be interesting to see what I write about on March 1, 2010. Will I be stalking my mailman again or....................................?