Last week, in Palm Springs for the International Film Festival

Last week, I was in Palm Springs for the 2015 International Film Festival.  Fabulous films.  Such a beautifully organized event with astoundingly effective graphic design of a ton of information.  While in town, we enjoyed fabulous architecture,  fashion, food, furniture, jewelry, paintings, and sculpture, too.  Stunning visual design everywhere.  Here are a few glimpses of humble window display designs that were awesome.  I love fabulous design wherever it is.    

Frilly pink poodle at Ooh La La on Palm Canyon Drive


Fabulous fashion and jewels on an elegant mannequin at Fe Zandi Haute Couture on El Paseo Drive in Palm Desert.

Reflections of me and El Paseo Drive in this colorful abstract landscape by Tracy Lynn Pristas at the Filsinger Gallery in Palm Desert

Do diamonds just fall from the sky?



On Wednesday, an unexpected delight fell from the sky in Phoenix - graupel.  Graupel is a form of soft hail – a mix of ice and snow.  Out of the blue, in the middle of the afternoon, a storm broke pelting rooftops and blanketing the city in white.  At a local school, classroom doors were thrown open. Throngs of amazed children rushed to see the unbelievable.  This couldn't happen, but it did.  The whole city came alive.   It was as though an entire population was witnessing a miracle and the remarkable energy was palpable.  No one could recollect snow falling on a February afternoon in Phoenix, "the city that rose from ashes".

Tiny sparkling pellets of ice accumulated on every horizontal surface.  They reminded me of diamonds.  Yes, on Wednesday,  diamonds fell from the desert sky.

What an unexpected gift, sent to remind me that anything is possible. The whole experience generated the wonder that I feel in every painting.  I revel in the flow of water into unpredictable patterns that merge into lines and hues that I never could have designed.   This is the exhilaration of painting with water media.

I am reminded to embrace each moment – to remain open to finding the value in each brushstroke and the flow that results from every spritz of water.  If I stay stuck in that which I already know, I cannot discover that which I seek.   If I fear the unknown, then I will block that which the universe offers.  Graupel in Phoenix reminded me to stay open to the new and to embrace the unfamiliar.   Experimentation fuels innovation.  There are no mistakes – only discoveries.

Sharing Sparks Creativity

Jan 23, 2013

This past weekend, as part of a Spirit of the Senses  salon held at the Bentley Projects Gallery in Downtown Phoenix, Mark Pomilio discussed his art with the participants.  Mr. Pomilio described the evolution of his current body of work consisting of large charcoal geometric drawings on paper that were then mounted and displayed on more than one intersecting plane.  In his description, he alluded to the various tests and experimentation needed to develop solutions to problems of materials and engineering.  As I listened to his description of the evolution of his work, I was acutely reminded of the inevitability of change, not only in the natural world, but also in our creative process.  And change means risk – the risk to try something new and to experience the unfamiliar.

Mark’s multi-planed pieces inspired in me the momentum to move forward with some ideas that have been fermenting in my own process for some time.  My own creative juices flowed.  The intersecting planes of his pieces confirmed the possibility, and even certainty, that solutions do exist. For some time, tossing and turning in my mind’s eye has been the restless idea of combining the acrylic/watercolor techniques that I’ve been developing for awhile with a dimensional surface.  But how?  Until now, I had not yet actually undertaken the experimentation needed to discover a means of accomplishing my vision.  Today, that vision took a significant mental leap.

With this leap, I am also reminded of the power of sharing with others.  For a while, I have tended to isolation, but this past weekend, springing from the seed of my willingness to experience something new i.e. Artlink’s second annual Collector’s Tour, the universe coalesced to provide the psychic fuel that sparked

my own creative experimentation.  That psychic fuel was listening to Mr. Pomilio and viewing his work.

As Scary as Taking My Sunday Clothes Off on Main Street

In joyous abandon, these women dance under a new moon. It's a new time - a new year in a new world.  On New Year's Day, my youngest daughter and I had brunch.  Since I had asked her to advise me on building an online presence, it was a business meeting.  I prepared and placed my laptop amid the teacups and fruit bowls.  I knew I had a lot to learn and I was ready.   With her support, I prepared to lower myself into the intimidating pool of internet marketing.   But to make a long story shorter, no, I did not yet need to know more of what was out there.  She persuaded me that none of internet’s power would be mine unless I was willing to share myself with ughh, (gulp) - complete strangers.   Simone emphasized that my first step was to generate content.  I thought that's what my paintings were.  But, no, she chided me. My paintings, by themselves, were not enough.    More was needed - videos, stories of my escapades, triumphs, and struggles as a painter, ways to connect with others...  I tried not to panic at the idea of “exposing” myself. Clearly, I needed to explore – and more importantly, reveal, more of me. I asked, my poetry?  She said, yes, my poetry.  So, since New Year's Day I have been contemplating how to do this.  I love to write almost as much as painting.  Revealing myself in the silence of a notebook or studio was not difficult. But, for me, an independent-minded introvert, formed in the mold of two resourceful and self-reliant New Englander parents,  this is as scary as taking one's Sunday clothes off on Main Street. And yet, still... I realize that internet is the most accessible form of marketing for me.  This morning, I could identify with the ambivalence of my young dog, Henry, who truly danced in anticipation of his daily jaunt around the neighborhood, but who just as vehemently recoiled at me slipping the harness over his face. Yes, Henry, it's tough when we're torn.  At last, after a patient wait, his eagerness overcame his reluctance.  He tentatively stepped up to the gate, the harness was quickly fastened and off we went.  In the same way, I am yielding to the necessity of mining the mundane and the unexpected in my life for "content".  And like Henry, both discovery and shared experience lure me, so, when the fear subsides, I trust I will enjoy the journey.  So, in 2013, I vow to blog more regularly.