May 29, 2009


This year at Surtex, we thought it would be so nice to reach out to the many students we met and to embrace their bubbling creative spirits. We kept a log of email addresses and recently sent out our first note with the hopes of encouraging an on-going dialogue. If I could help even one aspiring designer discover possibilities beyond what they may know, then I have given something back to the community of artists who helped me along the way, too. This is what I sent:

Thank you so much for stopping by my booth at Surtex this year and for sharing your love of art and design. We're more alike than you may think as I still consider myself a student (and probably always will!). Each creative day is filled with so many aspects of what I learned in art school...without the part of having to wake up early to make an
8 o'clock class!

The critical eye I learned to use during lengthy critiques at RISD has been an essential part of identifying areas in which I need to push myself to grow as a designer. Even when I think I'm "finished" with a particular piece, I step back from it to consider the fundamental elements of color and composition. In your studio classes, you're probably challenged to undergo this same kind of evaluation of your own work. Keep doing it! It's an exercise that will never go away,
but will continue to make you better at what you do.

Henri Matisse said, “Creativity takes courage.” I kept this quote over my drawing table while at RISD. Maybe you find some connection to that too ... especially when you take risks beyond your comfort zone in order to challenge what you know and to discover something new.
Next to Matisse's quote, I hung this very photo of Picasso...for both humor and inspiration:

(Picasso and the Loaves © Robert Doisneau, 1952)
I so admire how Picasso maintained a child like way of making sure his
artistic discipline was balanced with a healthy dose of silly fun that
is sprinkled throughout his work.
Look carefully, you'll see it.

Maybe you'll find something useful in these.

Surtex is a venue with a vast community of people who care and who connect. So please, let’s stay connected. I wish you much positive energy, courage, discipline, determination, and connectedness in your artistic and professional pursuits.

Keep making beautiful things! Our world needs you.

May 23, 2009

Popcorn, Surtex and a Shaker's Prayer

OK, so it's taken me a while to feel the full effect of blog-pressure from fellow artists...but it's finally taken hold and left me with very little choice (as you can see). I already suspect this might come with its own set of Facebook-esque addictive qualities. goes..

Why "The Drawing Board", you ask? That's where it all starts for me. A pencil, piece of paper and an idea. Well, not always an idea, but once the pencil starts moving across the page, the first kernel of popcorn pops...and you know what happens from there. It's really quite a yummy adventure!

Some of you may have been at Surtex, either exhibiting or walking the Show. Hope you had a great time! For me, it was so nice to connect with the people i've been working with throughout the year as well as to meet and chat with so many talented artists. This is my second year as an exhibitor and i find it to be such an important part of the process of creating art for products. When buyers and manufacturers offer their insights on what the market is demanding, i see it as a unique chance to listen carefully to what they have to share. I'm consistently surprised by what people respond to (or don't) and what elements in my work seem to resonate. When i return to my studio, i go through a bit of an editing process where i try to build on the positives and expand on what i've learned...and there's always something to learn!

It's been quite a whirl these last couple weeks getting my booth ready for Surtex, meeting deadlines and trying not to let the transition to Spring pass unnoticed. As we were packing up the car to head to NY, my husband and I noticed the "Shaker's Prayer" iris in our garden just starting to show a peek of color. I wondered about them each day at my booth—while in the windowless hall and under the hot glare of the lights. Would they be in full bloom when we got home? Would their petals have endured all that wind? The rain? It was so uplifting for us to pull into the driveway and to spot their beautiful purple and yellow blossoms nodding over the allium across the green grass. Right after I got out of the car, I took that photo at the top of this post. Inspiration!