The pups

Lola & Foxi.

We rescued Lola 3 years ago as a puppy. She is FULL of energy and could run all day. She usually collapses around 7pm. She is from somewhere down south (South Carolina maybe?) and is some kind of hound, and maybe terrier. She is definitely a challenge, and still (at 3 1/2) likes to steal Malayna's toys and chew on them. She is still crated when we are not home, otherwise everything in the house house might be chewed to shreds. She loves to "hunt" small animals and birds. Many a pigeon has not made it out of our yard…

We have had Foxi for about two months now. We rescued her from Main Line Animal Rescue - a wonderful place with many dedicated people working to find homes for animals. They took time with us to find just the right dog for both the humans and the canine in the house.

Foxi used to be a puppy mill breeding dog. Her age is unknown - the rescue thought she might be five, but the vet thinks closer to 7 or 8. She is the sweetest little dog you will ever meet. I was worried about getting a chihuahua, but she is so easy and so unlike what I thought we'd be dealing with. My daughter, Malayna, has wanted a chihuahua for the past few years. She is obsessed - always drawing pictures of chihuahuas, talking about them, looking at photos of other people's chihuahuas… So when we decided it was time for another dog, we knew it would have to be a chihuahua.

Foxi & Lola play together every day. Foxi is definitely in charge. Lola somehow knows that she is bigger than Foxi and (mostly) takes it easy on her. They are buddies.


Doodle-a-day: Brave

Brave: possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance.

This little (4.5 x 3") drawing is on its way to Arizona to my godson, Artie. He's been there for almost six months, working on his recovery. He went out there (2000+ miles away) all by himself, knowing no one and having never been there before. I am so proud of him.

He is brave.


Doodle-a-day: It's okay

Day five: everything will be okay. (Repeat as many times as necessary.)


Doodle-a-day, Arizona inspiration

This was a super-quick doodle, done this morning. It took me all of about 10 minutes, and was done while I waiting for my computer to start up.

My godson, Artie, is currently living in Arizona. He sends me little treasures sometimes, like pottery he found in the desert, a tiny little skull, arrowheads. One of the best (and most disgusting) things he has sent was a piece of snakeskin and a rattle from a snake he had caught & skinned. Gross, but cool.

I put all the little things he sends into this tiny "bowl" I painted. The bowl is made from the dried out skin of an avocado.

Today's doodle was inspired by the piece of pottery he sent a few months ago.


Doodles with my daughter

While I was working on my doodle-a-day yesterday, Malayna decided to join in. We used stamps that I had made (some of which I used in this project), stamp pads, markers and colored pencils. The paper I'm using is scraps of watercolor paper, which has a nice texture.


A doodle a day (or two)

Sometimes when you have a creative business and your job in that business is to make things, creativity becomes a chore. At least that's how I'm feeling right about now.

So to make things fun again, I'm going to try and do something completely unrelated to milkshake every day (or just about). I'll do a doodle or a little painting or a drawing. I am giving up perfection with this little project - I'm just creating for the sake of creating. Getting back to making art that's about the process and not the product.

Here are today's little doodles. I used watercolors, Sharpies and these awesome things called watercolor brush pens. Have you tried them? They're great!


Playing with watercolors

Wow. I cannot remember the last time I picked up a paintbrush and dipped it into watercolors. Ever? I don't know.

But today I was sitting here thinking about some artwork I have to create in the next two weeks, and I just had no motivation. So instead of doing something I have to do, I got out Malayna's watercolors and played around with paint.

When was the last time you created something just for fun? It's been a long, long time for me. The only time I find myself creating something is when I have to. When I have a deadline. Or when I have show coming up. This was a nice change of pace.

I used regular old Crayola watercolors and Sharpies. Fun!

Here's the painting as it progresses:


Miss Representation and REPRESENT

Are you concerned about how women and girls are portrayed in the media? Do you get angry when you see yet another scantily-clad woman on a billboard where your children can easily view it? Do you want your daughter to grow up and hold a position of power? Are you afraid that she will lose her sense of herself before she's 15? Do you want your son to view women as an equal instead of just an object to be viewed?

Come see Miss Representation with MamaCITA! We are holding an exclusive screening of the documentary film Miss Representation, which "explores how the media's misrepresentations of women have led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence," at the Hiway Theatre in Jenkintown PA on March 10th. The film will start at 10:30 am, and afterwards we will host a celebratory brunch, along with an art exhibit called REPRESENT. Our exhibit will highlight women who inspire us and who we find to be strong role models for us and other women and girls. REPRESENT will take place right across the street from the Theatre at Jenkintown's new art gallery, The Art of It.

Tickets can be purchased through MamaCITA's website. They are $25 each, and proceeds from the event will benefit the Girls Inc. Media Literacy® program in Philadelphia, which encourages girls to think critically about the media and its effects on girls. Girls Inc. inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.


One Year at the Painted Bride with MamaCITA

Happy new year everyone!

I belong to a group called MamaCITA - A Mother's Cooperative in the Arts.

MamaCITA is an Award–Winning Cooperative in the Arts whose members have won numerous honors, including grants, fellowships, and various awards.

MamaCITA members are artists who are authors, educators, business owners, art editors, international workshop leaders, designers, curriculum developers, jewelers, painters, photographers, muralists, and bloggers. Their work is collected, published, and exhibited worldwide, and shown in such publications as Trends, Country Living, Philadelphia Stories and more. Members have been profiled on NPR, in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Newsworks.org, PHL Channel 17, and many local publications.

These artists work in a variety of mediums including acrylic, oil, encaustic, collage, casein tempera, photography, watercolor, fabric, printmaking, metalsmithing, wire, digital media, and paper mache.

Just this past Friday (January 4, 2013) five of our members debuted their year-long project, One Year at The Painted Bride in Philadelphia. From our website: "One Year is an exploration of the public apathy towards rising urban violence. Through the creation of hundreds of sculptural wire vessels– one for each murder in Philadelphia in 2012– One Year examines the numbing of society towards this epidemic." They worked so hard on this project, and to finally see it all come together was a proud moment for all of us. They also included the rest of MamaCITA with a companion exhibit, upstairs at The Painted Bride. It is called Begin: Hope, Faith, Resilience. 

The exhibit is at The Painted Bride until February 8, 2013.

Here are a few pictures of the event:

And here are the pieces I created for the companion show, Begin.