Wednesday, March 25, 2015

#wip wednesday: #breathingtoanewbeat

planning to add a few more elements, creating smaller areas to color

Wow, I am always amazed on fast the weeks go by!! 

Many things on the to-do list and just not enough time.  

But here is one of the projects that I'm squeezing into this week.

Thanks to the wonders of Instagram, I discovered the artist/illustrator CurlyPops who lives in  Melbourne Victoria, Australia and describes herself as: 

"Textile Designer, Crafter, Illustrator, sometimes Blogger & Coffee lover.
Double lung transplant recipient 2013."

As you may notice, we have similiar interests/talents/loves(coffee!!!) but where we vary is that CurlyPops, Cam, had a successful double lung transplant in 2013!!! And as a way to show her gratitude for her "second chance at life" she is creating a fund-raising coloring book for the Lung and Heart Transplant Trust Victoria and she put a call out to all 'creative types' who would be interested in donating a design!!!

who needs a light table when the sun is out?!?!?

Let's see . . . illustrating a page of a coloring book?!?! (LOVE coloring books) and a good cause?!?! I emailed her and added my name to the many contributors from around the world?!?!? How cool, huh??

thanks to photoshop I can draw the different elements and
then combined them into one design!
So I took one of my favorite (and quite apropos) quotes/reminders; "breathe, deeply, repeat", and incorporated it into a design with some of my favorite images; a teapot, teacup and a lunamoth.  I plan to add the prerequisite stars and patterns, and voila, my contribution to the #breathingtoanewbeat coloring book.

Now, back to the proverbial drawing board (aka my computer)
Did I mention that I am having so much fun?!?!?
Happy Wednesday!! & peace,
p.s. Don't forget to be an ORGAN DONOR!!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

#wip wednesday: mending, meandering, meditating with a needle and thread.

'meditation one . . . '

Now that my 'tree of life' mural is finished and installed, my schedule has opened up a bit . . . 

As crazy as a deadline can be, it does give me some boundaries and the luxury of tunnel vision; for the past months it has been 'go to studio, paint the mural' 24/7 and I loved it.  

'meditation two . . . '
As is typical for this post-project period, I tend to founder, as I have much to do but not sure where to focus my attention.  Also I have oodles of pent-up creative ideas and energies which were not sated by working on the mural.  Meaning that I have started many projects while also dealing with my graphic design assignments and social media obligations.  One of these projects which is currently 'in progress' is my series of 'mediations . . . '.

'meditation three . . .'
Started a few weeks ago in response to some difficult personal events, I just began to embroider on anything I could find! I had no set design, idea or vision, I just wanted to/needed to sew.  

Sewing is meditative and for me it is healing, literally mending torn parts.  So here are photos of the 3 mediations that I'm working on.

detail of 'meditation one . . . '
I feel there are more to come and believe this could be a beautiful series.  only thing is that I have NO idea how to display works like these?!?! If anyone has suggestions I would love to hear them.  But for now I am just going to keep on mending, meandering, meditating with my needle and thread.

backside of 'meditation one . . . '

detail of 'meditation two . . . '

peace, va

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

today on #fromthelandofdragons and more . . .

"where do you find all these awesome flowers" "... it's all about looking :D"

“How we spend our days, of course, is how we spend our lives,”  Annie Dillard 

Happy St. Patty's day:
May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.
~Irish Blessing


Friday, March 13, 2015

flower friday . . .Attleboro Arts Museum's Flower Show

seems like the landofthedragons made it to the Flower Show!!
Yesterday I was in #heaven!! I had the great honor of being one of the 'live artists' at this year's Flower Show at the Attleboro Arts Museum,  meaning yesterday my 'job' was to spend the afternoon drawing, painting and talking with Museum visitors!
did I already say #heaven??

pen and ink drawing 

Here is my interpretation of this stunning floral dress, 
created by the museum's director, Mim Fawcett.

so happy & sporting a styling David Lee Black t-shirt

my palette with only 5 colors, the way
I was taught by Martha Oldman
This is a beautiful show, and as usual, the museum staff and volunteers did an outstanding job.  Besides the beauty of the art of the wall, the spirit and atmosphere in the museum was festive, joyful and so welcoming;  a perfect antidote for the long winter that we New Englanders have had.

perfect attire for the Flower Show!!
Pink Dr. Martin's modeled by the lovely 

If you are in the area I highly recommend a visit!! The show runs through this Sunday, and each day is full of events and activities, along with the many exquisite floral arrangements and inspiring art.

AnD DoN't FOrGeT!!! 
Tomorrow, at the Common Street Community Church
join the fun as they unveil their two new murals, 
both dedicated to the lovely Anet James.  
Come see my 12-7 foot mural inside and ONE80 Visual's Scott Pressler's beautiful mural outside!!! Hope to see you there!! 

and as always ~ peace, va

Thursday, March 12, 2015

#wip wednesday (just on thursday)

Attleboro Flower Show is today thru Sunday
I am going to be painting there this afternoon!! 
Not sure where the days/hours go . . . although I do know I had to lose one whole hour this Sunday!! And I truly don't like losing any hour especially when I don't believe there are enough hours in a day to begin with, however I digress . .

So here is what is happening in the world of Virginia Fitzgerald . . . art . . . inspiration . . . ink :

First, I am so happy to announce that my 'tree of life' mural for the Common Street Spiritual Center is finished and delivered and there is a celebration this Saturday at the spiritual center. More information about the mural and celebration coming tomorrow.

So now that the mural is finished, I got to change hats from mural painter to graphic designer, helping the incredibly talented and provocative artist, Christina Zwart, prepared for her up coming show at the Boston Sculptor's Gallery

I have had the honor to work with Christina for a few years and it has been an awesome experience.  We met when our children were in preschool; she was the coolest mom dropping off her child with paint covered pants and pink hair!! I KNEW I needed to meet this woman, and 12 years later I am so happy that I said HI!!

photo by David A Lang
In most of her work Christina takes a single object/idea and multiplies it so that it becomes a totally new object/idea with layers of meaning and interpretations. Here is a bit from her artist's statement.

She works with materials as simple and easily-recognizable as flour and snow, or harder-to-find items like horseshoe crabs and plaster teeth models, giving solitary objects new life as she multiplies them to yield an overall piece.

And fortunately for me she needs some assistance in the Photoshop department (hello graphic designer cap). And not to give too much away from her exhibit, WHOLE (in part), here is just a few of the 'objects' Christina is using as she weaves her creative alchemy. 

For one of her installations she is using ONE condoms!! I had never seen these condoms before and now I want to tell the world about them!!! Why?? Because of the way ONE condoms has thought about the packaging and the design of their product.  The way these condoms look is a great way of removing some of the taboo that is STILL associated with condoms!!! which is kind of crazy in this time where the practice of safe sex could literally mean the difference between life and death!! and as a parent of teenagers I feel it is important to be able to talk about all matters of life, and that includes sex!! So YEA!! One Condoms and thank you!!! and wait until you see what Ms. Zwart does with these gems!!!

I am also doing some working around a one dollar bill . . .  and I can't share those images, however in my research I came across these lovely facts about the dollar bill that I thought I'd share . . . I especially thought the LIFE SPAN of a dollar bill was interesting.

The US One Dollar Bill

US dollar frontThe US one dollar bill is paper money worth one hundred US cents. One dollar is written $1.00.
SIZE: US currency bills are are 2.61 inches wide and 6.14 inches long; they are .0043 inches thick and weigh 1 gram.
COMPOSITION: Bills are composed of 25% linen and 75% cotton; red and blue synthetic fibers are distributed throughout the paper.
PRODUCTION OF DOLLAR BILLS: It costs the US government 4.2 cents to produce a U.S. bill. US currency bills are printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP). The BEP prints about 16,650,000 one dollar bills each day. Most of these are used to replace worn, older bills (which are shredded). According to the US Treasury, there are billions of one dollar bills in circulation.
LIFE SPAN: The average dollar bill has a life span of about 18-22 months.

So mark your calendars for April 11th to see this exhibit :

Artist Reception: Sat., April 11, 5 - 7
SOWA First Fridays: April 3 and May 1, 5 - 8
All events are free and open to the public
Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Sunday 12 - 6 pm

And to wrap up this studio round up - I am happy to say that today I am stepping away from my beloved computer screen, grabbing my bag of PAINTS and heading off to the Attleboro Arts Museum to be their live working artist demo this afternoon at their annual Flower Show!! I am SO excited about this, all I need to do is sit and paint flowers for 3 or so hours!!! #heaven!!!  I am also excited to see this show as I hear it is quite an event!! 
other big news in my life!!! Harriet was accepted to a wonderful arts school just up the street!!!
the creative gene is alive and kickin'

This year's theme: Rainforest: Canopy of Color,
Exhibition Dates: March 12 – 15th, 2015
Flower Show hours: Thursday – Saturday: 9:30am – 4pm; Sunday: 12 – 4pm
Admission each day is $3; children 9 years and under are free. 
 Daytime attractions**  are free with daily admission.
** Im a daytime attraction!!! :)

Monday, March 9, 2015

In honor of International Women's Day and #amazingmayamondays

virginia's daily dress inspirations: In honor of International Women's Day (which was yesterday...)
click above to see entire dailydress post . . .

mosaic of many phenomenal women!!!

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. 
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   
But when I start to tell them, 
They think I’m telling lies. 
I say, 
It’s in the reach of my arms, 
The span of my hips,   
The stride of my step,   
The curl of my lips.   
I’m a woman 
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me. 

I walk into a room 
Just as cool as you please,   
And to a man, 
The fellows stand or 
Fall down on their knees.   
Then they swarm around me, 
A hive of honey bees.   
I say, 
It’s the fire in my eyes,   
And the flash of my teeth,   
The swing in my waist,   
And the joy in my feet.   
I’m a woman 

Phenomenal woman, 
That’s me. 

Men themselves have wondered   
What they see in me. 
They try so much 
But they can’t touch 
My inner mystery. 
When I try to show them,   
They say they still can’t see.   
I say, 
It’s in the arch of my back,   
The sun of my smile, 
The ride of my breasts, 
The grace of my style. 
I’m a woman 
Phenomenal woman, 
That’s me. 

Now you understand 
Just why my head’s not bowed.   
I don’t shout or jump about 
Or have to talk real loud.   
When you see me passing, 
It ought to make you proud. 
I say, 
It’s in the click of my heels,   
The bend of my hair,   
the palm of my hand,   
The need for my care.   
’Cause I’m a woman 
Phenomenal woman, 
That’s me.

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Friday, March 6, 2015

flower friday

The first news for flower friday is to announce that both my entries were accepted into the Flower Show at the Attleboro Arts Museum.
'guppy . . .' 
This is the first time that I have submitted anything from my #landofthedragons series, so I am quite pleased with the response.

'pandora's box . . .'
The exhibit runs from  March 12th – 15th, and as a special perk I am going to be one of the artists participating in their live art demo.  I will be 'creating' on Thursday, Mar. 12th 1-4pm.

The Attleboro Arts Museum Flower Show is one of the organization’s largest and most anticipated annual fundraising events. Now in its 19th year, the Flower Show celebrates the beauty, wonder and complexity of nature with its 2015 theme of “Rainforest: Canopy of Color.”Image: Kay Kopper

The other 'flower' news is that I am delivering my 'tree of life' mural today!!! I finished the flowers last night and I am heading to the studio to make sure everything is ready for transport.  

This has been the most amazing experience and I am sure I will have some post-pardum separation once this piece leaves my studio wall.  But I am also so ready to see the entire piece, which is too big for me to see all of it in my studio.  A few weeks ago I had to roll up the canvas so that I could work on the flowers. 

This week I had the immense pleasure of Maya joining me one evening while I painted.  She took this photo of me at work and I think it shows the scale of the piece quite well.
also as a social media note: she posted this picture of me painting on instagram and she has told me that she has received a record number of likes for the post :) woohoo!! 

how it looked when I left the studio last night
So last night as I left my studio I had the wonderful and odd feeling that this project may be complete!! And to top off the pleasure of 'finishing'  I was blessed by encountering these exquisite creatures sauntering up my street.  It was quite magical as it was late, the roads empty, the moon bright and it was just me and my new 4 hoofed friends.  I drove with them up the hill to get them closer to some wooded area because even though they seemed quite at home in the middle of the street I thought it would be best to get them off the roads.  But boy was it such a treat to see!! 

peace, va

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

virginia's daily dress inspirations: Today may we all find inner harmony . . .

“I want first of all ... to be at peace with myself. I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that ... 

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Monday, March 2, 2015

#amazingmayamonday and other happenings . . .

“Love heals. Heals and liberates. I use the word love, not meaning sentimentality, but a condition so strong that it may be that which holds the stars in their heavenly positions and that which causes the blood to flow orderly in our veins.
Maya Angelou, Mom & Me & Mom

& other happenings from the studio of virginia fitzgerald:

dropped off two #fromthelandofdragons photos to Attleboro Arts Museum for their annual Flower Show!!! It was so great to see those wonderful folks there! It has been such a long time since I have been involved with an exhibit there. 
And to add to exhibiting in the show, I will be one of the artists who are participating in the 'Live Art-making' demo at the show. 
I will be either drawing or painting or collaging (who knows) Thursday March 12 in the afternoon.  I am so excited to see the Flower Show as I have heard it is spectacular and to have an allotted time that I know I will be doing ART!!!! 
Also this weekend I replenished my dressproducts at the lovely shop, Uni-T at the Natick Collections.   The owner, Eujin Kim Neilan, does such a great job finding and promoting talented artisan and artists.
And I love how she has displayed my dressphotos!
And then, in my free time I am continuing my 'meditations on . . .'
not sure where these pieces are going but I know I NEED to do them!! 
and there is nothing better than the meditative act of sewing on a cold winter eve.
"this past week i have taken up my needle and anything that is near at hand! In embroidering these meditations . . . Maybe it is the mounds of snow outside or other issues inside but these are my saviors right now"
now off to the studio to finish(?!?!?) my tree of life mural . . .  peace, va

Friday, February 27, 2015

#tbt: the story of 'dear jeff . . . '

note: photo is above the fold :)

I seems only appropriate to share the story behind my sculpture, 'dear jeff . . . ' as it is featured in yesterday's art section of the Boston Globe! (lick here to go to the Globe's site)
photo by Rrea Brown Photography during a photography workshop led by
David Lee Black, where 'dear jeff . . . ' was one of the models.
The story of 'dear jeff . . . '
 This dress is a commissioned sculpture for a man, Jeff,  who lost his fiancée in the events of 9/11/2001.  She had flown to New York early that morning to attend a business breakfast at the Windows of the World restaurant.  

On the 10 year anniversary of this tragedy Jeff felt that it was time to let go of his box of memories.  He contacted me and asked me if I could create something from his collection of letters and cards and remnants from the tragedy. I was honored to have been asked and accepted the task.

Jeff handed me a large box full of letters; notes between the couple during college, cards of encouragement for new jobs, the announcement about their engagement, articles about 9/11, the missing person flyers, and then an abundance of condolences cards, from friends, family, coworkers, communities and even strangers. These communiques played a huge role is Jeff's recovery; the power of a caring community.

When Jeff approached me, he didn't want a memorial of his fiancée and her death. He wanted a sculpture that would portray the importance of community, and the positive growth that can come through adversity, as well as a celebration of Amy's spirit.  The essence of this dress is similiar to the story of the phoenix, who rises  from the ashes renewed after apparent disaster or destruction.  peace

There is so much I can say about this dress and the experience I have had making it and exhibiting it. This sculpture is a true testimony to the power of art!!!  I have witnessed victims of the attacks meet over the dress and console each other and I have been told that the dress has helped others to heal a bit from this horrific tragedy.  

I am very honored to have been given this task of working with such emotional, heart-wrenching and powerful materials and I am truly grateful to Jeff for sharing his memories and his story with me, allowing me to share the story of love, loss and recovery with a larger audience.

'dear jeff . . .' is part of the breath-taking exhibit, "Forever & After" at 
the South Shore Art Center through April 4th.  

peace, va

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

#wip wednesday ( a-k-a what i'm working on)

since I have a looming, pending, do or die deadline this post must be brief!! in fact it will be mostly pictures of what I'm working on this week : my 'tree of life' mural for the Common Street Spiritual Center, Natick.

As I have mentioned before it has a life of its own . . .as much as I want to finish the piece it seems as though the tree has other plans . . . it is all good, as I believe some of the details that have emerged from the days/weeks of working and reworking areas are really successful, but that said there is a due date, dead line, scheduled unveiling, March 14th, 2-4pm, Common Street Spiritual Center!!! 

peace, va