Wednesday, July 1, 2015

#wip wednesday: introducing my index-card-a-day collection . . .

(my #wip: #icad2015 . . . . what are you working on??? xxx)
card#1: breakfast al fresca  _ pen and ink #icad
this week I am on the road to the chicago area to check-in with my parents, so I am away from my studio and my endless access to all things art supplies.  But it is all good because I am using this time to play catch-up with an exciting endeavor that I learned about last month:
hosted by Yellow Daisy.  

For anyone who knows me and/or follows me you know that I am a daily challenge junkie!! Love the idea of producing art everyday and sharing it.  I love this idea because it removes that 'precious' element of the end product, because you are just making art!!!  And this idea is one of the main points in my current reading book,

I thoroughly enjoyed Austin's book,
Steal Like an Artist, and so far I'm loving 'show your work'
Both books are inspirational is their message to just WORK!!! 
stop getting in your way, stop being stymied by do's and dont's 
(or at least the message that I get)
work!! work!! work!!
card#2  thank you Vincent  _ pen and ink, marker #icad
and now he speaks of sharing;
 I LOVE sharing!!
share, share, share!!!
this is my banner for my dailydress intentions group on FB  
Reading this book has been quite encouraging in that it champions the practice of sharing!!! and I can NOT tell you how many times I am writing a dailydress inspiration blog post, or editing an instagram post and I get thrown into a tornado of inner nay-sayers criticizing my uses of my time and question the validity of sharing. 

card#3 tray table still life  _ pen and ink #icad

Though Austin Kleon does caution:
"of course, don't let sharing your work take precedence over actually doing your work."
and for those of us that seem to get sucked into the wonders of the internet, he suggests: 
"If you are having a hard time balancing the two, just set a timer for 30 minutes.  Once the timer goes off, kick yourself off the internet and get back to work."
And with that suggestion in mind I am going to wrap up today's post.  
card#4: breakfast remnants   _ pen and ink #icad
Just want to share the few cards that I have done for #icad2015.  
This is a perfect project for me right now, 
as I am doing a lot of talking and waiting on phones and waiting in waiting rooms.    

card#5: lunch on the patio with mom and dad  _ pen and ink #icad

In fact this challenge reminds me of my dailydressjournal from 2011 and my subscriptioncard series, both of these series were results of the demands of life keeping me out of my studio, however I used whatever I could to create - the scraps of everyday life andor the endless supply of subscription cards found in every waiting room.

card#7: long day . . . pencil #icad
so introducing the start of my #icad2015 collection.  I will be sharing more here but you can also find my #icad cards on Instagram and on my Virginia Fitzgerald, art and design FB feed, on a more regular basis.

card#7 prompt14: salt and pepper  _ pen and ink #icad
Happy Wednesday!!
what are you working on???
peace and thanks for visiting, va

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Today this is my worship!!

this morning  . . . this was my church, this was my worship!! 
My president moved my heart and soul, he spoke my beliefs, my religion!!! 
This is the most outstanding eulogy, healing and powerful and inspiring!!! 
Again I state - I LOVE this man!!! Amazing!!!! 

Here is a politician, our president, the target of more criticism and hatred, standing up to eulogize a colleague shot down in the basement of his church.  As I watch and listen to his eloquent words, his call to action, his description of grace, I thought that not many politician would have the guts to speak from his/her heart, for fear of political backlash.  
But President Obama put it all out there, he didn't mince words. And I believe that we as a country will realize that this has been the strongest, wisest and most humane president in our history; as of now.  Hopefully he will stir a movement of honesty and truth in the world of politics?!? 
one can only hope and pray!! 

I encourage EVERYONE to watch this entire clip because yes, Obama breaking into song is moving, however his entire speech offers so much food for thought, on so many levels and issues, 
and shines a healing light on this horrific event and the tragic loss of 9 souls. 

Today I believe in God, thanks to Obama.  Today I feel a glimpse of hope for our country, the country for which I felt so much gut-wrenching despair, just a week ago!!


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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

#wip wednesday: a woman possessed . . .

Tonight is the opening reception for "Possessions, prized or otherwise"
this year's national juries show at the Attleboro Arts Museum.

I am very happy to announce that my piece, 'pencil cup triptych' is one of the accepted works!!!

the triptych consists of the above three interruptions of my pencil mug.
some of you may remember this series from a few years back . . .  
an acrylic painting of this mug was as 
my contribution to the Fountain Street Fine Art's 8x8 in 2013.

Below is the starting picture of my beloved pencil mug, taken on a cold winter's day, while waiting in my car, for a daughter so I could take her to school.  I remember thinking that the light was really nice and captured the whimsy of the pencils and showed the shape of the mug, so thanks to the always ready iPhone . . . click.  and from there I have interpreted this image in many different media -  graphite, collage, pastel, paints . . .  

Here is the statement that I submitted with my triptych, explaining why I chose to submit this object for the possession show, the call for art asked for art that represented 'concepts that explore the things we hold dear – and the things we just plain hold. Consider representations of storage units, moving day, family heirlooms, trophies, travel souvenirs, yard sales, bric-a-brac on the fireplace mantel …'

artist's statement:

I received my ‘pencil mug’ sophomore year in college, so over 30 years ago. My roommate,Kate Kenyon, had found it at a ‘dollar store’ over a school vacation and upon returning to campus presented it to me with much fanfare.  She exclaimed that when she saw it she knew I needed to have it because it was a mug covered with colored pencils.  And she was right,  I did LOVE it and I have cherished it.
For the rest of my college career my ‘pencil mug' came with me everywhere!! I tied it to one of the straps of my knapsack where it would dangle as I would traverse the campus, from academic buildings, down the middle path to my home away from home, my studio.  In my studio I had my trusty, rusty hot pot where I would make either tea or coffee or a cup of oatmeal, all of which were consumed from my beloved ‘pencil mug’.  
Surprisingly and SO fortunately my ‘pencil mug’ survived the years of swaying from my backpack and the occasional collision with random desks, chairs and fellow students, and was carefully packed to join me in my post college life, which included many moves.  As it is my favorite mug, it always came with me.  I remember feeling that I was officially ‘home’ once I unpack my ‘pencil mug’ and placed it in its honored place on a kitchen shelf.  So my ‘pencil mug’ helped me make home in Los Angeles, CA, Iowa City, IA, Chicago, IL , New York City & Brooklyn, NY, Newton, MA and eventually Natick, MA where it has been moved a few times.  
My ‘pencil mug’ has held many a hot beverages (coffee being my favorite) and numerous meals, cereal being one of my favorite go-to meals that can easily be eaten out of a mug.  It is the mug I seek out when I am having a hard day or need some reassurance.  It still travels with me in ways a ceramic mug might not survive, but it does.  In fact the photo that I have used for the ‘pencil mug’ triptych is from a typical cold and rushed morning of multi-carpooling and my faithful mug was there keeping me warm and happy.
The images in the ‘pencil mug’ triptych are three out of a series in which I altered and manipulated one particular photo of my mug.  I had placed the mug on the dashboard of my minivan waiting for the second round of carpooling.  It was a cold winter morning and the light was quite enchanting.  Besides the light, the composition of the photo appealed to me so I made numerous photo transfers of the image and then treated each one with a different medium and/or technique.  The triptych includes a graphite rendering, a collage interpretation and a multimedia version where I placed a grid over the photo transfer and worked each section in different manners.  
With much of my work I use different techniques, materials and media to interpret the same image.  I am interested in how the different materials and approach can alter the overall experience of a piece or imbue it with an alternative meaning.
This mug is definitely one of my prized, cherished and loved possessions.

namaste & peace, va

Thursday, May 21, 2015

filling in some blanks . . .

This past Saturday I had the honor to speak at 'Wake up & Smell the Poetry".  I spoke about my beloved #dressproject and what a wonderful experience it was for me!!! To get back into my #dressproject mindset is such a joy!! 

And I was in the company of many inspiring and talented people.  First, Susan McGee Bailey and Camille Breeze were the two other presenters (click here to read their bios) and then there were so many moving and wonderful performances/poems during the open mic. portion of the program.  
I am happy to say for those far and those who couldn't attend, the entire exhilarating morning was taped by HCAM and will be available for viewing sometime in June. 
(no worries, I will share when it is out!! ;-)

Below is a slideshow of the photos that I collected to accompany my talk; just a few of my dresses to help me demonstrate where the #dressproject has gone during these past nine years :)

Also on the exciting news front, this week I had my first day as shop photographer at this tremendously awesome store in Natick, Renew Arts & Industry!! talk about this visual wonderland:
Welcome to the world of Renew Arts & Industry. Located in Natick Center’s cultural district, we are Metrowest Boston’s premiere gallery shop featuring mid-century modern design. We offer a thoughtful mix of quality vintage furniture and d├ęcor, tableware, pottery, original art, hand crafted greeting cards, and artisan jewelry.  
I am so excited about this opportunity as it has allowed me to purchase a Macro lens for my camera and it is such a treat to photograph all their amazingly cool merchandise!! So a win-win all around.  So below are a few of the photos from my first day!! Loving my new lens!!! 

see why I am so happy!! a visual wonderland!!! 

So that's a bit of what has been keeping me out of trouble.  
Also, as much as I LOVE writing these posts and would love to post daily, 
I am realizing that isn't going to happen at this point in my life.  

I have been able to post more regularly on my DailyDress Inspiration blog
so please visit that blog and see what happening there!! 
and,  I will be here as much as I can, because as I was preparing for my lecture I referred to this blog many times and recognized the importance of this visual diary of my journey as a mother, artist and creator of the #dressproject.  And I am truly grateful for your company on this terrific ride!! xx
namaste, va

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Happening this Saturday, May 16th . . . talking about the 'dressproject' @ "Wake up & Smell the Poetry"

I'm truly excited about this Saturday!! I have been invited by the lovely and talented Cheryl Perreault to be one of the presenters at her provocative program Wake Up & Smell the Poetry!!

I will be one of three speakers, the other two are author Susan Bailey and singer/songer writer, Camille Breeze.  And as you can see from their bios, below, this should be quite the morning!!!
I am so honored to be included in this prestigious group.

In 2010, Cheryl invited me to speak about my 'dressproject' to the Women's Art Forum in Hopkinton.  It was a stellar evening, and it lead to an article in the Hopkinton Crier, written by Helen Prunty Krispien, who was in attendance for the talk.  Click here to read the entire article.   


I always love to speak about the 'dressproject' and my art in general. Besides loving to share, I learn more about the work every time I speak about it.  It is also a treat to take the time to sit back and review the 'dressproject' as a cohesive body of work.

Since it began, in 2015, it has expanded from ephemeral dresses to life-sized sculptural dresses to painted, collaged, drawn and printed dresses to a whole division of the 'dressproject' based on an origami dress: my dresstags, dresscards and dressmats, which lead to the creation of my 'dailydress' inspirations blog and FB group. 
'wedding dress . . .' (brenda's dress)
first dress of the 'dressproject'

And, YES, it started nearly 10 years ago, in August 2005, on the beautiful beach of Wells, ME. The story behind the beginning alone could be a topic of a lecture. I was experiencing much insecurity and tremendous growth as an artist when I discovered the dress form.  This iconic image presented a perfect structure within which I could explore new and old beliefs, opinions and concepts, concerning myself and the world around me.  As I say in my artist's statement, the image of the dress became my soapbox.

For my talk in 2010 I collected 300 slides!!! and successfully got through them. This Saturday I am limited to 20 minutes!! which I am finding a bit daunting as there is so much I can say about the 'dressproject'.  For many of the lectures that I have given I usually go in and see where the energy of each situation takes me, this time I believe I need more of a plan!! 

I am pleased to say that I will have some of my books, 'the dressproject: the beginning'.  I have had many requests for these books, and I have had issues with getting it published.

So, I now have a new publisher and a slightly different format, however I have YET to find a less expensive option for such a book . . . but my search continues!!

However,  I will have about a dozen books for sale, along with some dresscards and photographs of many of the ephemeral dresses.

So in conclusion, as I noted above, this has all the makings for an inspiring and provocative morning!! I hope you can join us and if you can't (& I know any weekend in May is CRAZY!!), it is going to be taped and will air on HCAM, see photo for schedule and it will also be archived.

schedule for the airing of Wake up & Smell the Poetry

So now you must excuse me as I need to prepare my presentation!! 
peace & thank you for stopping by, va

this mosaic was made for me by one of my past student from Dana Hall,
she took a photo of me at one of my openings and made a mosaic of the
image using pictures from my 'dressproject' and some other work!!
thank you so much Rui Ray Fu!! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

#wip wednesday: a little catch-up

There is one kind of robber whom the law does not strike at, and who steals what is most precious to men: time. ~Napoleon I, Maxims, 1815
 here's a bit of the projects that are filling my time these past few weeks . . . 

latest embroidery, made for a dear friend and angel!!

Still pulling together and creating pieces for my second delivery 
to the oh-so patient Eujin @ Uni-T!
new dresspaintings, heading to Uni_t at the Natick Mall

more flowerpower paintings for Uni-T
new dresspaintings, heading to Uni_t at the Natick Mall
dresscard design
most recent order of dresscards heading to Uni-T. 
My plan is to offer these notecards for purchase online  . . . just need to figure out details, the how.
I am thinking about offering a kind of DYI approach - create your own set of notecards, as I can't fathom buying just one card online?!? 

'i still rise . . .' 19april15, 43F, 7:30AM
one of the ephemeral dresses made during these past weeks - 
to see all of these ephemeral creations check out my instagram accountFlickrtwitter or FB. 
I post them on those sites on a regular basis only because I can post directly from my phone.
I want to figure out how to post directly onto this blog, but until then . . .

'dear jeff . . . ' at the SSAC just before i packed her up . . .
and as all good things must end, "Forever & After" closed.  It was incredible exhibit and experience.  Also the difference in the weather on the day I delivered my pieces (freezing and with snow piles so high that it was dangerous to drive) and the day I picked them up (sunny, warm, Spring)!!! 
Gotta love weather to live in New England!! 

Lastly I am still pondering, playing with #the100dayproject and will be posting 'part 2' of that mental discussion in the next few days.  However no matter what I decide to do for the project or/and if I even decide to do the project at all, this has been a terrific exercise in thinking about social media, time and purpose!! 

so 'til later, thanks for stopping by and joining me on this amazing journey called life!! xxxx, va

Sunday, April 19, 2015

#the100dayproject: distraction or solution?!?!? (part 1)

(warning: this post goes against all the social media guru's advise to 'keep it brief.'  However I have always viewed this blog as a chronicle of my current state of mind, and how that affects my art, my choices and my life.  x)

This world of social media exposes a user to many, MANY ideas, opinions, events, opportunities, recipes, projects and distractions (to name a few of its offerings).  Earlier this month I discovered a 'project' that really caught my attention, The Great Discontent 's  #the100dayproject.

kitchen table drawing
I was intrigued!! i LOVE challenges such as these! My brain started to explode with ideas about the best project for me to do for 100 days!!! Everything seemed like a perfect activity, heck most all of the examples in the graphic above excited me!! In fact the more I thought about doing 'X' for 100 day straight, the more my heart raced and my enthusiasm mushroomed.

However I am the QUEEN of productive procrastination and I started to wonder if this newest undertaking would fall into that category.  
 is this something i 'should' do now?!?!? 
in fact, what 'should' I be doing now?!?!? 
That last question has been tormenting me these past weeks, causing me to get in a rut. So as this mental debate about my #100 day project continued in my head, the start date of the project past and so did my excitement.

But then, this weekend, I once again stumbled onto information about the project, along with the announcement that even though the start date has past, late comers were always welcomed!!

I took this as a sign that I DID need to join this 'movement', and for numerous reasons.  The first reason being that I AM in a RUT!! I am not one who is usually stuck, but I am paralyzed, stymied about the direction of my career, of my art, of my life.

In the past my answer to any and all ruts was to work, to make art, make a dress about the situation!! but since the divorce that has become a much more difficult response.

Sadly, making art, especially large sculptural dresses, has become complicated.  There is now a much greater pressure for financial success.  There is a much larger demand of my time and other resources.  One of the result of such constraints is that everything has become precious and for me that is the kiss of death!!

hand-lettering quote
My time feels precious, so my output feels scrutinized, mistakes are not welcome and everything must have a purpose and a successful outcome!! that is not a state that encourages any type of true creativity, especially not for me! So one of the perks of #the100dayproject is that by repeating an activity/practice it becomes less precious - and for me that is a very good thing.

Also, as I alluded to above, I am struggling with the direction of my career, art, life.  I am at a crossroads.  I wholly desire to make my living via my art.  I believe in my core that I have a unique 'voice' to add to our world, but I am scrambling to figure out how to share my creativity and vision as well as pay the rent.

Now this is not an earth-shattering life dilemma - most all creatives bump up against this quandary and usually the result is finding a 'job' for the rent and following your passion on the side.  However, I have been reading and learning a lot about a current movement that believes that by finding your passion and your purpose, and with that personal knowledge, you can make a financially successful business.  One champion of this theory is Ann Rea, the creator of Artists who Thrive.  Another believer is Scott Dinsmore, just listen to this TED talk, How to find and do work you love.

I want to excavate my passion and my purpose and find my value.  In Dinsmore's talk he addresses the need to get out there, make mistakes and do work, to see where your passion lies.  As I see it showing up for 100 days of work would be doing the work!! And though that process I would think you would discover your true purpose?!? So reason number two, a good way to excavate my purpose.

Another positive is that to sign up you are making a commitment to a larger community?!?! Part of the project is to share your 100 days of on social media!! Nothing like a bit of cyber-peer pressure to help motivation?!?

Also I see sharing as another way to remove the preciousness of the work since during those 100 days you will put out work that you may not think is your best.  Even in the description of the project it is emphasized that it is the 'process' not the product that is important in this project!!

Lastly, the exercise of repeating a practice/an act/a project for 100 days is proven to help add that practice/behavior into one's life.  The number of days needed to change or alter one's behavior vary depending on the source, but it is clear that if you consistently practice a certain activity for X (definitely more than 21) amount of days, it will become part of your daily routine.  Here is an article by James Clear that explains this theory further, How Long Does it Actually Take to Form a New Habit? (Backed by Science).

Those are all very good reasons to join #the100dayproject, however, I still have some trepidations: is this a good uses of my time, will there be benefits?!?

I already share my creative endeavors online, on a pretty regular basis and I am very comfortable doing it.  On my dailydress inspiration blog I posted a daily inspiration for over a year, possibly 400 days.  With my #fromthelandofdragons series I usually post at least one photo on a daily basis.  

AND I still have NO IDEA what to DO for the 100 days!!!
As I mentioned , almost everything appeals to my creative self - 100 days of recipes, of drawing faces, of embroidering, of doodling on post-its (how fun!!). The idea of 100 days of my kitchen table drawings, or ephemeral dresses or dressmats; it all excites me!!


So I believe to commit to this project I need something that pushes me out of my comfort zone, something that will contribute to my personal growth and/or something I wish to incorporate into my daily routine . . .

(again head exploding)
so many choices, so many endeavors . . .
so much more to say . . .
so , 'to be continued'.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

#wip wednesday: bring on spring!!!

'flowerpower:blue' ©2015
'flowerpower: love' ©2015
What has been occupying me these past days is the wonderful opportunity to be featured in the 
window of Uni-T and the Natick Collection. And watch out as 'flower power . . .' struts her stuff accompanied by a new series of paintings!!!!


This is a #wip (work in progress) because there is more to come!! More paintings and prints (fingers-crossed) of the paintings, and Eujin and I decided that I will continue to draw more flowers all around the window with her awesome white marker.  ( see photo below of me drawing some flowers, it is hard to capture these drawings with a camera but it looks so cool in person!!!! ) 

I have happily worked with Uni-T for years; I was featured in the window last summer - they carry many of my dressproject products and the owner, Eujin Kim Neilan  is such a dream to work with and an accomplished artist and illustrator herself.

paintings in progress in my studio
Eugene's book, The Rabbit and the Dragon King
'flowerpower: green' ©2015

white marker on the window
'bloom . . . ' ©2015
 and along with the window installation I finished my submission to Curlypops' #breathingtoanewbeat coloring book.
@virginiafitzgerald 2015
peace, va