Last two releases for Limited Edition series 13

it is with a bit of sadness i present to you the last two pieces of "13". i am always slightly melancholy when i wrap up a project, but all good things must come to an end! but i do have plans for future projects, so it's not all sad.

i think you may have noticed that many of the pieces in "13" have come in pairs and i see these last two as a pair, more because they are conveying similar feelings, not necessarily because of a visible similarity. however, i have chosen to make the background of both of these more smooth and one color rather than having many textures and layers as in the previous pieces. 

I call No. 12 and 13 "Hope Deferred". when i made these, i was thinking of all kinds of moments when we defer hope, but i was thinking particularly of those women who have had to defer hope in relation to having children. we are in a time when we women realize that we can't do it all and we must choose one path over another, sacrifice something for something else. i know that sounds really vague, but we are all in very different circumstances and have different choices to make.

13, No. 12 (Hope Deferred) - unlike the first piece i did (13, No. 1 (Too Hard To Hold)) where there was a hand to catch the pearls being dropped, there is no one here to catch the pearls. the pearls are rolling away fast. and to me, the hand that's letting go of the pearls here is a bit more reluctant. because the choice to let go of something in order to make room for having children is a hard one. as women, we must sacrifice a career, our time, our sleep, and the ability to call our bodies and time our own. fathers have to sacrifice too, but unless they are the primary care givers, this sacrifice falls largely on women. and we do it willingly, do we not? i certainly did, but it still doesn't quite prepare you for how difficult this is in reality.

when my husband and i decided we would have children, i decided to put aside my goals to pursue writing. fortunately for me, i managed to eek out an hour here and an hour there of writing after our first daughter turned 1. it took me over 7 years to write a very short novel. i still have no idea what will happen to this novel that i poured so much of my effort into and i am still figuring out this journey of being an artist, but it feels so late in life for me to be struggling over these things! there are moments when i think, i should have figured this out in my 20s!

hope deferred.

i was having a conversation about this with a friend who was saying that we are privileged to even have this kind of thought, to have the luxury of making a choice, as there are many people in this world who don't have this luxury, who must live to survive day to day. but it is a reality many of us face and we must make a choice.

 

13, No. 13 (Hope Deferred) - when i made this piece, i was thinking about all the women i know who at some point in their lives were unable to conceive. this is a different kind of hope deferred, one that is not our choice to make. this, i believe, is particularly difficult. i am also thinking of those women who have lost babies, through miscarriages or other complications that took their babies' lives.

i recently watched "March Of the Penguins" with my daughters. there is a gut-wrenching scene where a mother penguin whose newborn froze during a storm tries to steal the baby of another penguin. her grief and desperation drove her to attempt something so unthinkable. because the void left by a dead baby is surely too painful to bear.

i'd like to believe that this kind of hope that has been deferred blooms somewhere for the women who must carry this burden around with them daily. i'd like to believe this even if we can't see it. 

***

 

i feel that my words here have been rather halting today. it is not easy to think about these kinds of pain. but this month of work has been about embracing both the joys and the difficult parts of life and looking at them as honestly as i can. thank you for accompanying me here on this journey. i hope the experience of accompanying me has enriched your days in some small way. i know i have learned so much this month, having the discipline of producing a certain amount of work every week.

i look forward to other projects in the future! i will continue to share them here, so if you'd like to follow along, please subscribe by clicking on the icon below, bottom left corner. once you click on the icon, you can choose to either read in a feed of your choice or receive emails. i generally write here at most once a week, so you won't get inundated with emails from me. ;)

have a wonderful week, friends!!

Week 4 for Limited Edition 13

this past weekend, i was volunteering and attending one of my daughters' ballet recitals. i love ballet because i grew up dancing and have always loved the experience of being on stage. as a child, i loved the anticipation of being backstage and the camaraderie shared with the other performers. and i loved the magical feeling of dancing on stage. i will always remember the freedom and pure joy that i felt in the movements. but as i got older, i became more and more aware of my shortcomings and focused more on what was wrong with my body and what i couldn't do with my body, rather than dancing for the sheer pleasure of dancing.

i have been thinking long about our bodies as mothers. how we see our bodies now after having given birth. how others see our bodies. and the ideal we strive towards. we women are hard on ourselves, and we are hard on our bodies.

so for this week, i wanted to focus instead on recapturing that feeling i had as a child, when i danced because i loved to and because it gave me great pleasure. when i didn't think about how my legs were all wrong for a ballerina or if i was good enough.

13, No. 10 (We Are Dancing) - this was inspired by Matisse's painting, Dance. when i think of dancing with abandon and freedom, i think of Matisse's painting of five red figures dancing in a circle. so here is my interpretation of the dancers, imagining what we might look like if we threw aside all our inhibitions and woes about our bodies. if we felt the music's call and began to move with it. as mothers, we have to hold ourselves together so much, but what if we let our hair down for once? i hope we can accept our bodies as readily as i believe these figures here are doing.

13, No. 11 (In the Garden) - what if people's stares didn't feel harsh? what if we were so accepting of our own bodies that we didn't mind or cared what people thought? i think of the Garden of Eden, of when Adam and Eve were not aware of their nakedness and were not ashamed. it would be lovely to recapture some of that in our lives. let us take care of our bodies by eating well and exercising to make it strong, but let us also accept all the ways our bodies have changed to give birth to new lives. i see the figures here in gentle repose, content and being fed.

when i was a student at art school, i remember distinctly preferring models who looked different. models who had bodies that were perfectly proportioned were actually less interesting to me. it was the models who stood out because of something different about their bodies that stayed with me and sparked my imagination. there was a story behind their bodies. and there is definitely a story behind the bodies of mothers. there is a story behind the stretch marks. there is a story behind the stomach that will never pull back to it's former flat state. there is a story behind the shrunken breasts. there is a story behind the hair that has suddenly changed texture or color. let us be kind to these bodies that have been through something so incredible.

these are now available on Etsy.

this is technically the last full week of May, but i will be releasing two more pieces next tuesday, the last day of May. hope you will join me then!

Week 3 for Limited Edition 13

hope you had a wonderful weekend! we had a gorgeous week full of blue skies and warm sunshine this past week and the colors have definitely translated into the work i made for this week. which is funny because the themes i was tackling weren't as happy as the colors. but i think in many ways, that's life. and that's definitely motherhood. we are constantly carrying both the joy and the pain, the good and the bad.

here are Limited Edition, Nos. 7, 8, and 9:

13, No. 7 (Patience) - ah, patience! such a difficult virtue to foster in an impatient heart like mine! the thought of waiting for years, decades, is something i never want to embrace. but that is something i have had to learn as a mother. i remember the first years after the birth of my first daughter - i thought the sleepless nights would never end, i thought i would never get anything accomplished during the day besides nursing and changing diapers. and even now, with the kids getting older, i sometimes wonder if my girls will ever learn to play without bickering. but i am older now, and i hope slightly wiser and more patient. these are seasons. like this dead looking tree. it is just a season. one day, it will leaf and bloom. the blue skies promise that. but in the mean time, i wait.

13, No. 8 (What the Tide Brought In) - last summer, we explored many different beaches in New England. my girls love to beach comb, so each time we arrived at a beach, they would immediately set out to see what the beach had to offer. so often, the girls were terribly disappointed, esp the youngest, that there weren't any sand dollars or "special" shells. so you can imagine the excitement and happiness on the day when there were numerous sand dollars and scallop shells to fill the bucket with! it would be nice if we could find treasures every time we visited the beach, but then they would no longer be gifts. i wish every day sparkled like a diamond, but most days are mundane, most days, we are working hard to get by. but we mustn't stop looking because we want to be ready for that day when the diamonds do get washed ashore! we will take whatever the tide brings in because when it brings in treasures, they are that much more precious.

13, No. 9 (Letting Go) - i've been thinking more about this as my kids get older. finding that ability to letting go of your children to grow up to be their own people, yet at the same time, being here for them always. i've also been thinking about some of my hopes and dreams for life, how i need to let them go. disappointments and hurts that i sometimes hold onto tightly, i've got to let them go. i try to remind myself that there is good in letting go.

i'm looking forward to another week of tackling the theme of motherhood! please feel free to comment and share your own stories of motherhood. you know it does us all good to share one another's stories. these are now available on Etsy.

have a wonderful week!

A post for Friday the 13th

i couldn't NOT write a post about "13" on a Friday the 13th, now, could i? ;)

we've had some BEAUTIFUL weather here this past week. lots of sunshine and almost summer-like temperatures. i have really enjoyed my bike rides to the studio. my girls and i have been spending time outside after school, climbing trees, sitting in the sun, playing in the park. and i think all of this has translated into the pieces i've been working on this past week. so here's a shot of what i've been looking at this week and glimpses of the pieces i will release next week for Week 3 of Limited Edition series 13:

have a fabulous weekend, friends! join me here next monday!

Week 2 for Limited Edition 13

i know yesterday was Mother's Day, but here, we are going to just keep celebrating motherhood as we enter Week 2 of my Limited Edition month. :) as i thought about motherhood yesterday, i wanted to give myself, more than anything, permission to be honest about being a mother. i think there is nothing in the world that quite compares to being a mother, and that includes both the joys and the challenges. and the pain for those of us who have either lost babies, miscarried, or haven't been able to conceive, that pain is unlike any other.

i have tried in all these pieces to convey some of that tension of being a mother - the great joys and the great depths. so here are Nos. 4, 5, and 6:

13, No. 4 (Sometimes You Need To Leave the Garden): no matter who you are, what you do, i think we can all agree that we must set aside time and space for ourselves. i love my children and love caring for them, but i know i am a better mum for having some mental space to call my own. when the children were young, it was simply that. mental space. while nursing the baby, i would think of stories to write, paintings to paint. a world in my head. as the children got older, i was able to make that mental space more. i could set aside some time and some space to cultivate that. it feeds me and makes me stronger to better feed my family.

13, No. 4 

13, No. 4 

13, No. 5 (Holder Of Memories): i don't think i need to add much more to this than the title. except that the little white things falling into the glass jar are diamonds.

13, No. 5

13, No. 5

13, No. 6 (Remember Me): this one is for the many mothers who have gone before me and have shaped me into the mother i am today. for my own mother and for my grandmothers. for the mothers i knew in Kenya who cared for me sometimes when my own mother couldn't. for the mothers i've known since and for my own daughters who may one day be mothers themselves. it's that connection we suddenly feel at the moment of our first child's birth, a physical connection we have never felt before, a connection that feels very earthy and grounding.

13, No. 6

13, No. 6

lastly, i want to thank all of you for your tremendous support through this process. it's been wonderful to hear your responses to my work. i look forward to the continued dialogue!!

here's the link to my Etsy shop where these pieces are listed. have a great week!!

Week 1 for Limited Edition 13

hello, friends! welcome to those of you who have joined me here recently! i'm really excited to be sharing this journey here with you. i have been busy working on the pieces that are released for today. i hope you will head over to my Etsy shop to take a closer look at them. here are some work-in-progress shots:

edited with VSCO

edited with VSCO

IMG_6917.JPG

let me share a little bit of the story behind the three pieces pictured above.

i wanted to start out with some darkness. part of being a mother is seeing yourself go to some dark places, but also, when you care for little ones, you often find yourself awake at night, caring for them when you should be sleeping. there are images of pearls and flowers in these pieces. to me, the pearls and flowers are about thoughts, feelings, and memories. when i became a mother, so many thoughts, feelings and memories became sharper than before. memories of my own childhood took on different layers of meaning, now that i could see them from the perspective of a mother. the incredible love i suddenly felt for another tiny person was so strong and sharp. life came into sudden focus as i no longer lived for me and had to live for another.

13, No. 1 (Too Hard To Hold) - in this piece, a hand holding a chain of pearls is dropping the pearls and another hand catches one as it falls. there are moments when the demands of motherhood feels like it is too much and in those moments, i want to drop all the pieces that i'm holding together for everyone. sometimes, the pearls and the flowers hurt me. and other times, i am afraid i would hurt the child i'd been entrusted to love. i long to hand over my troubles and worries that have become polished and shiny like these pearls from too much handling and caring. sometimes, they become too heavy to hold onto.

13, No. 2 (From A Distance) - but sometimes, when you are up in the middle of the night, holding a sick child and you feel like you cannot change the soiled sheets or clothes another time, or you feel like your baby has been marathon nursing and there couldn't possibly be any more milk left in your breasts, sometimes, you look down at your child and you forget how exhausted you are and you marvel at the beauty of this person sleeping in your arms.

13, No. 3 (Your Face Is Cracked In Half) - there is a saying in Korean that my mum said to me often after i gave birth to a child: "Your face is cracked in half." having children has somehow altered my face. of course, my face has aged over the years, but i'm not talking about the crow's feet, wrinkles and age spots. i think something shifts under our skin after giving birth. i woke up one day, looked in the mirror and knew that my face no longer looked the way it did before i gave birth.

hope you will visit my Etsy shop and take a closer look at the first 3 pieces of the Limited Edition "13". thanks!!

Limited Edition series titled "13"

May is just around the corner and this May marks a special moment in my life. my oldest daughter turns 13 years. which means i have been a mother for 13 years. and the number 13 has a significant place in my life. my birthday is August 13. i turned 13 years old on Friday the 13th - it was a terrible birthday, but that's another story! :) it seems apt that i should do something special for this upcoming month of May. so i thought, why not make 13 paintings for the month of May? I will release 3 paintings each week over the course of May and then release the 13th painting on the last day of May. this Limited Edition will be available through my Etsy store. please follow me here on the blog, on Instagram (@madebyslk) or on FaceBook as i celebrate through the month of May. if you would like first dibs, please subscribe to my blog (click on button on lower left corner) as i will post the releases on the blog first.

the 13 paintings began their life as a single large painting and then have been cut down to smaller 13 pieces. the large washes of color provide the background for the smaller details. there's a lot of texture here because of the many layers of paint, with colors coming through the dark washes of black.

i'm a little nervous about this - i've never done a series to be produced in a set amount of time, but i'm hoping it will be a good discipline and a fun project. plus, Mother's Day is coming up and i can't think of a better way to celebrate it than by putting down on paper my feelings of being a mother. thank you for joining me in this endeavor!

 

M Train

have you read Patti Smith's "M Train"? it is my new favorite book! there are so many passages in it that i love and wish i could have written them. her writing is so poetic and really resonates with me. here are some passages that i just can't get over:

"I believe in movement. I believe in that lighthearted balloon, the world. I believe in midnight and the hour of noon. But what else do I believe in? Sometimes everything. Sometimes nothing. It fluctuates like light flitting over a pond. I believe in life, which one day each of us shall lose. When we are young we think we won't, that we are different. As a child I thought I would never grow up, that I could will it so. And then I realized, quite recently, that I had crossed some line, unconsciously cloaked in the truth of my chronology. How did we get so damn old? I say to my joints, my iron-colored hair."

"it fluctuates like light flitting over a pond", "unconsciously cloaked in the truth of my chronology" - !!!! such beautiful images! oh, i felt like i could live on these words forever.

"Home is a desk. The amalgamation of a dream. Home is the cats, my books, and my work never done. All the lost things that may one day call to me, the faces of my children who will one day call to me. Maybe we can't draw flesh from reverie nor retrieve a dusty spur, but we can gather the dream itself and bring it back uniquely whole."

"the amalgamation of a dream" - i really wish i could have written that!

ok, enough of me drooling over Patti Smith's words! go and get "M Train". read it and tell me what you thought of it!

Thirst

i finally managed to come up with a title for my latest installation before i had to install it. as it often happens to me, the title refused to come to me until i had completed the work. so, here is the official info on the latest piece:

Thirst, 2016

approx 250 plastic water bottles, fishing line

 

and here are some photos of the installation:

Installation at Ruggles Baptist Church before it got dark

Installation at Ruggles Baptist Church before it got dark

During the Easter Vigil - it was dark and the installation was lit by lights with blue gels. a dance performance with original song was being performed as the blue lights went on slowly on the installation. credit for the lights must go to Ryan Ruffing, who patiently bore with my many emails sent his way titled "Lights!!!"

During the Easter Vigil - it was dark and the installation was lit by lights with blue gels. a dance performance with original song was being performed as the blue lights went on slowly on the installation. credit for the lights must go to Ryan Ruffing, who patiently bore with my many emails sent his way titled "Lights!!!"

Installation moved to Boston Temple for Easter Sunday Service 

Installation moved to Boston Temple for Easter Sunday Service 

and a time lapse of the installation, just because it's always fun to do a time lapse :)

 

i had several challenges when putting this together. the church rents space in two different locations, Ruggles Baptist and Boston Temple. so the installation couldn't stay up - it had to be taken down immediately after the Vigil was over. that meant i had to put the installation together in such a way as to make the installing and the removal process relatively easy. i couldn't drill anything into the walls. the Vigil would take place in the dark, so lighting was a big issue. but these challenges helped shape the piece into what it is. i used plastic water bottles so the installation as a whole is extremely light and sturdy.

many have asked me questions about the process and the thought behind the installation, so i thought i'd jot it down here, both for me and for those of you who wish to know more.

i guess the story begins back in December 2015. my family was searching for a new church and we stumbled on the website of Church of the Cross. we visited Christmas Eve and have continued since. in January 2016, i met with the Director of Music, Ryan, and we had a conversation about art, esp about art in the church. which was unusual for me - it has been a very long time since i've had a leader of a church engage with me about what i do. and perhaps this was why i agreed to participate in the Easter Vigil at Church of the Cross by creating a piece for it. i was mostly curious, but i was completely caught off guard. if i hadn't been so caught off guard, i might have said no.

some of you are probably very familiar with an Easter Vigil, but i was not. since i had no previous experience to go on, i used the order of Scripture readings as a guide. the readings begin with the story of creation and take us through the entire story of God's relationship with us, the world, culminating in the death and resurrection of Jesus. the primary images in the Vigil are the cross and the movement from darkness to light. but for me, the thread that ran through all the Scripture readings was the image of water. it was present in each reading, in some form or another, a silent tangible extension of God's presence. or the absence of God's presence, as in the reading of the dry bones, the bones dry and lifeless. moments before Jesus' death on the cross, He said, "i thirst," a physical yearning for His Father who had turned from Him.

the images of water were big and grand in the readings in the first half of the Vigil: creation, Noah's ark, the parting of the Sea as Israel fled from Egypt. but it takes a different turn in the sixth reading, a passage from Isaiah 55. there, God calls those of us who thirst to come: "Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters...For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth, And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it."

why plastic water bottles? (many thanks to the members of Church of the Cross who contributed to this installation by bringing in your plastic bottles! and to my husband who went dumpster diving for me) if you know me and my work, you know that i love to take stuff from the dumpster and transform it into something that looks completely different from it's original form; taking the rejected and transforming it into something beautiful. and we live in a place where clean water is so abundant, we take it for granted and don't understand the full value of it in our lives. the same can be said of God's grace and goodness.

Thirst. we won't know the full extent of our need until we thirst.

Miniature birds

friends, it has been way too long! but i was forced to "disappear" from life for a bit.  mid December, i was in a bike crash and suffered a moderate concussion. as a result, i was told by the doctor to stay away from computer screens, tv screens and books. the best thing for me was to stay in a darkened room with no stimulation to my brain. that didn't last long, i'm afraid, but i did take my injury seriously and stayed away from the screen as long as possible. the road to recovery has been slow and long. my eyes are still not back to where they were before the crash. they get tired easily and so i haven't been reading much at all. long periods of time on the computer also tires them, so i still have to take it easy. but, i have been back to the studio.

here are some images of my recent work, since my concussion:

"Hope" Is the Thing With Feathers

"Hope" Is the Thing With Feathers

Sons Are Like Birds Flying Always Over the Mountain

Sons Are Like Birds Flying Always Over the Mountain

this last image is a detail of one of the birds, just so you have an idea of how big these miniature birds are:

Some new work

hello!  it's been a while, but i have been busy with experimenting and thinking up new works.  i have been playing around with acrylic paint and painting over old paintings that have been unfinished for many years.  i've been thinking of new paper-mache sculptures to make.  

here are a couple of new paintings which will be up on my Saatchi page soon:

i will leave you with a beautiful quote by Arshile Gorky i read the other day:  "Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot physically see with his eyes.  Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite.  It is the emancipation of the mind."  

Installing "Taking Flight"

on the evening of November 6, the building my art studio is located in will be hosting a building-wide open studio.  i will post the details about it soon, but in the mean time, i wanted to share with you a short time-lapse movie i made as i was prepping my studio for the open studio. this is a small portion of my "Taking Flight" installation:

hope you can plan to join me on November 6th - there will be many many artists opening their studios that evening.  it should be a fun evening filled with art!

and as always, if you'd like to keep up with my goings on, please subscribe to this blog by clicking on the subscribe icon in the bottom left corner. thanks so much!

End of Summer

it is hard to believe that summer vacation has ended and the kids are all back at school.  the past couple of weeks have been busy with adjusting to waking up early, to new school schedule and new friends and teachers.  so far though, everyone seems to be doing ok, including me.  my youngest daughter started kindergarten this year and i wasn't sure how i would feel.  but you know what?  we are both doing really well and we were both really ready for this!!  time for a new chapter in my life.

i am currently working towards an open studio in November.  my building is hosting it, so many of the artists in my building will be participating and we hope to put on a good opening.  i will have more details in the coming weeks.

here are some photos from our various outings this summer.  we truly loved exploring the new england area this summer.  we thoroughly loved the many diverse beaches and enjoyed many of the museums Boston has to offer.  i can't believe it has already been a year since we moved here.  and now, i'm looking forward to what this second year will bring for our family.  thank you for joining me on our journey here and keeping up with our goings on.  what are some memories from your summer?

giant inflated bunnies in downtown Boston

giant inflated bunnies in downtown Boston

taking the ferry out to Spectacle Island

taking the ferry out to Spectacle Island

view of Boston from ferry

view of Boston from ferry

fun clouds...please excuse my dusty camera lens...

fun clouds...please excuse my dusty camera lens...


Photos of new work

how is your summer?  i hope it is filled with sunshine, family and friends, time spent on decks eating grilled food, ice cream and sipping cool drinks. perhaps some time at a beach or exploring new places.

our summer break began with a visit to Madison, WI.  it was lovely to be back in our old home and to visit with good friends, to eat cheese curds, and to visit our old favourite places.  but the odd thing is, i felt torn between there and here, being back at home but feeling the tug of our new home.  life is funny that way, isn't it?  my girls and i watched the movie Inside Out after we returned to Brookline and we all cried because we so felt all those emotions.  and at the end of the movie, (spoiler alert! well, sort of...) when Joy and Sadness create a memory together so that the memory is tinged with both emotions, well, we all just gave up trying to contain the tears. 

as promised, i wanted to share some photos of new work i've been busy working on this past year as i have adapted to living life in Brookline.  the first set of photos are of a large scale installation titled, "Taking Flight".  i wrote an earlier blog piece about the inspiration behind this project and you can find that here.  if you are following me on Instagram, you will find all my work in progress photos under the hashtag: #400birdsproject .  why 400 birds you ask? because i'm crazy.  these birds take crazy long to make and i'm not sure why i'm doing this. in the photos below, taken in my new studio space, there are around 120 birds:

on a much smaller scale, i've been making these miniature works using the rolls leftover from duct tape.  my daughter makes duct tape wallets and she has accumulated quite a stash of these duct tape rolls.  i felt inspired to use them to create these small pieces - you can find them soon on my Etsy shop.

Studio Space

it has been a while - i apologize!  life has been full and hectic with many end-of-school-year activities for the kids.  and added to that busyness, i just moved into a studio space that i'm sharing with another painter!!  really excited about the work space and looking forward to producing work in that space.  the studio is in a large building in the SOWA area, the South End of Boston, that houses many artists studio spaces.

i am biking to work now, and what can i say? i am no Lance Armstrong and can't even begin to aspire to that. :)  i'm more like a little old lady hobbling along, but i'm hoping i'll get better at this after my body gets over the shock of the distance i have to cover on my bike.

here's the view from the street of my building.  will hopefully be able to share with you some new work i produce there. :)

There's something special about performing...

i'd known that, ever since i first set foot on a stage as a child, but it's been a LONG time since then.  this past saturday, i had the wonderful opportunity to share my shadow puppet piece on the stage along with some really wonderful, talented, creative puppeteers.  and what can i say?  i was nervous, excited and had so much fun, all at the same time!!  it was a great experience to be able to share my work (and many many thanks to those of you who came out to see my work!! xoxo) but it was equally wonderful to be backstage with all the other performers and to feel everyone's creative energy.  i felt so inspired, esp as i got to sit in the audience for the second half of the show.  there were so many diverse voices and so many different ways of presenting the work.  and then the overall atmosphere was so special - because the puppet theater is rather small, the evening felt very intimate and special.  thank you to Puppet Showplace Theater and everyone involved in putting the Slam together!

unfortunately, i was too distracted to take any photos at the Slam - sorry!  however, i would like to share some photos of the beautiful spring we have been having here in Boston.  trees are exploding with flowers everywhere! it's hard to believe we had so much snow not that long ago.

Puppet Slam on May 16th

it has been a full month.  we celebrated a birthday as we came to the end of the month - my youngest daughter turned 5.  it is hard to believe how big she is getting!  we are also seeing the slow recession of the snow.  we are impatient for spring weather, but the warmth is slow to take over.  there are still small mounds of snow and we wonder when we will see the last of it?

my shadow puppet project is finally coming together! last week, i managed to run through my entire piece, minus the music, to the class.  this week is our last class and i will be performing for the class again with the music.  i have been busy rehearsing at home.  i tell you, it hasn't been easy.  because i am rehearsing for a performance, i find that i must minimize all the moments where things can go wrong. but there's also a fun element to that, that some of the magic of a performance comes from the very fact that i can't control it perfectly.

some background info about my shadow puppet project: it is around 10 mins long, set to the music of Erik Satie.  a while back, i had written a novella titled, "Winter With Satie" and the story is about a young pianist who is crushed by certain events in her life and withdraws from the world by closeting herself in her home.  she encounters the ghost of Satie and this encounter sets off the healing process for the young woman.

i couldn't use the entire story for this short performance, so i am excerpting the most important part of my story, the young pianist's encounter with Satie, for the shadow puppet performance.

if you are in the Boston area and would like to see my performance, i will be performing "Winter With Satie" at the Puppet Showplace Theater on May 16th, 8pm, during the Puppet Slam.  this is an event for adults and teens.  i have been asked by the Puppet Showplace Theater to warn you that their Puppet Slams usually sell out, so if you plan to come, i would recommend getting the tickets early.  you can purchase tickets online here.  i also know that the Brookline Public Library has passes for the Puppet Showplace Theater you can check out.  with the pass, you can get up to 4 tickets for half price, a really good deal!

i hope you can join me on May 16th - there will be some great performances from puppeteers who know what they are doing! :)

here are some more "work in progress" photos:

A fellow classmate and i practising with our shadow puppets

A fellow classmate and i practising with our shadow puppets

there was a lot of cutting involved...

there was a lot of cutting involved...

part of a scene from my performance

part of a scene from my performance

New Project

i am eager to share about a new project i've been busy working on.  several weeks ago, i started a class at Puppet Showplace Theater, a puppet theater in Brookline that's just down the street from where i live.  i took my girls there a few times to see puppet shows and they loved it.  then i discovered they have adult classes!!  i picked the shadow puppet class as i thought it would be an easy transition from my art to theater.  plus, i wanted to put my novella to some use.  i am excited to have found a medium where i can marry my writing with my visual art.  the class runs to the end of March and then i believe we have an opportunity to showcase our work at a Puppet Slam, an adult puppet show event the Puppet Showplace Theater puts on every couple of months.  i will share more details about that as we get closer to the time.

the story i'm working on is my novella, titled, "Winter With Satie."  in trying to keep things simple and short, i won't be using any dialogue, but will use Erik Satie's music and only tell an excerpt of the story.  here are some "work in progress" photos:

the last two shots were taken by a fellow classmate, Sally Moore, and edited by me.  the characters still need some work and some refinement and change.  i will share the final product in the coming weeks!