I’m Thankful for Grandmas

Happy Thanksgiving everyone ūüôā

While I was at the Toledo Main Library for my art show, I had a chance to stop in the children’s department.¬† If you haven’t been there, GO!¬† You’re in for a treat.¬† I especially like the fish tank celebrating The Rainbow Fish.¬† But¬†I also saw something new.

The installation in the above photo depicts a scene from the book¬†Abuela by¬†Arthur Dorros.¬† I’d never actually read this book, but I was so moved by the piece that I went home and requested the book from my library.¬† It’s about a girl who is¬†always going places with her Abuela.¬† (Abuela means grandmother in Spanish.)¬†¬†One day¬†the girl wonders what it would be like to fly.¬† Readers¬†are then taken on a flight of the imagination, following this girl and her grandmother on their adventures together soaring above the city.

After seeing this art installation and then reading this book, I could not help but think of my relationship with my own grandmother who passed away last fall.¬† She was one of my first teachers and taught me how to play the piano when I was young.¬† I would not trade anything for our time together sitting at the piano bench.¬† I learned many lessons beyond how to read and play the notes.¬† She taught me the importance of finishing what you started and never giving up, even if that means playing the same refrain over and over because you’ve forgotten the rest.¬† The show must go on!

I know the show must go on even now that she is gone, but I feel like a piece of her is still with me,¬†cheering me on, as I continue¬†on my life’s journey toward publication.¬† I still remember those Sunday dinners together.¬†¬†I will be thinking of her as I sit down with my family for Thanksgiving.¬† I hope you have a chance to be with those people who are near and dear to your heart.¬† Don’t forget to tell them you love them and give them a hug to show you mean it.

We’re heading into the season of wishes and miracles.¬† If I had one wish, it would be to go flying with my grandma, even if it’s only in my dreams…

A Reflection Beyond Words

As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m feeling grateful.¬† As I mentioned before, my artwork and poetry were recently exhibited at an art show, Beyond Words,¬†in Toledo, OH.¬† Opening night was a flurry of excited guests, yummy treats, and delectable artwork.¬† I enjoyed taking my family and friends around to see my work.¬† I also had the opportunity to¬†overhear feedback¬†on my art,¬†reminding me¬†of the days when I shared my poetry in front of a crowd at an open mic.¬† I even met¬†some of the artists that collaborated with me.¬†¬†One of them chose to¬†write a piece to go with my artwork,¬†Bamboo with Red Bird,¬†because she, too, has¬†an affinity¬†for Japan and¬†even lived there¬†for a period of time.

Then came the icing on the cake.¬† We¬†attended the awards ceremony.¬† Two of my poems received second place.¬† What made this especially gratifying was that the poems were compared to a specific style reminiscent of a famous writer.¬† I had never much thought about my style in regards to poetry.¬† Apparently, I have one…or two ūüėȬ†¬†My poem,¬†Suffering from Poetic License, received second place for the T.S. Eliot¬†Award: Modernist in style with a range of techniques.¬† Another poem of mine, Whose Musing,¬†received second place for the Mark Twain¬†Award: humorous or social commentary.¬† At the end, they announced the People’s Choice Award, which went to a poem written in response to my watercolor collage painting, Giraffes on Reserve, pictured above.¬† Hooray!

Now, awards are a bonus, but not why most artists, including myself, make art.  We do it because we love it.  Because we have a need.  It fills us up.  We feel alive.  It helps us make sense of the world and hopefully helps others, as well.  As I said in my previous post, making a connection is the best part about participating in an art exhibition like this one.

How will you connect with the universe this holiday season?

 

Beyond Words Art Exhibit in Toledo

 

I’m excited to announce that some of my artwork and poetry¬†are¬†being¬†exhibited in an art show at the McMaster Center gallery of the downtown library in Toledo, OH¬†from now through Sunday Nov. 2. There are over 200 entries by 72 artists.

The exhibit features paintings, poetry, short stories, mixed media, photography, sculpture, and even jewelry.¬† What makes this show unique is that it’s a collaboration, so each piece of art is paired with writing by a different artist.¬† In other words, one piece was inspired by or created in response to another.

At the¬†opening reception last night,¬†the master of ceremonies¬†mentioned that this show is one of the only collaborative exhibits of its kind in the nation.¬†¬†Ben Malczewki, one of the jurors for the art show, gave¬†a statement about the¬†exhibit.¬† “This exhibit wonderfully captures what¬†diversity and voice and community means to art, and that together, we are more than we could be alone.”

I have¬†four pieces of art and¬†three poems in this exhibition.¬† The most exciting¬†part¬†for me was to see the artwork¬†and¬†writing paired with mine.¬†¬†As an artist, you don’t always know the impression your work makes¬†on another¬†person.¬† It’s especially¬†gratifying to see that response depicted through art.

If you’re in the area, you should come check it out!¬† And if you’re in the market for a new piece of art to decorate your home or office, you’ll find many of the pieces are for sale.

 

 

Tour of My Mindwork Art Exhibition

Greetings ūüôā¬† Can you believe it’s the end of October already?¬† I hope many of you had a chance to see my recent art exhibit at the Troy Public Library.¬† But if you didn’t, don’t fret!¬† You can still take the virtual tour now.¬† Enjoy!¬† (Don’t forget to let your mind wander…)

Mindwork honors the mind as both creator and creation.

That’s all for now…¬† Until next time!

Mindwork: My Art Exhibition at Troy Library

Greetings ūüôā¬† I’m excited to report that my artwork will be showing at the Troy Public Library for the month of October.¬† It was a lot of work putting together, but I’m very pleased with how it turned out.¬† It’s a combination of work, some adult and some children’s illustration.¬† If you’re in the area, you should come check it out!

I’ve been talking a lot about bucket lists lately.¬† Speaking of which, I can cross one¬†item off my list.¬† In a recent post, I offered a tour of Denise Fleming’s Story Park, which features her work at the Toledo Library.¬† I mentioned that it‚Äôs a dream of mine to have my work displayed in a library.¬† I guess some dreams do come true…especially when you make¬†them happen!¬† What dream will you make happen?

Tour the Denise Fleming Story Park!

Awhile back I interviewed author/illustrator Denise Fleming and shared that interview here.¬†¬†I mentioned that her work is on display at the Sanger Branch Library in Toledo, OH.¬† That library was gracious enough to share photos from the Denise Fleming Story Park.¬† And¬†now I’m sharing¬†them with you ūüôā

Welcome! You are in for a treat. Follow me on an e-tour of the famous Denise Fleming Story Park, which¬†celebrates the artwork of this renowned picture book author and illustrator. You’ll feel like you’ve just stepped into one of Fleming’s books. Guaranteed!

Pond 1

Boy

Pond 1

Pond 2

Pond 3

Pond 4

Squirrel

Fox

Park View 2

Cats

Rabbits

Bees

Gazebo

Firefly Bush

It’s a dream of mine to have my work displayed in a library.¬† What are some of your dreams?¬† Please share!¬† In the meantime, enjoy the warm glow of these fiery fireflies.¬†¬†According to Ted Andrew’s book, Animal-Wise,¬†fireflies symbolize inspiration and the promise of accomplishment through hope and efforts.¬† May¬†fireflies¬†light the path to your own dreams so that you can make them¬†come true.