Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In Buddhist Land

I recently returned from a retreat - WO FO YO O, which was an art and mindfulness retreat at Blue Cliff Monastery, founded by Thich Nhat Hahn who also has a Monastary in California, and one in France (Plum Village)

I won't get into my life history here, that is on my other blog, but it was a life-changing experience.

In one of the workshops we did periods of meditation, followed by making art.

While meditating, I kept perseverating about what I was going to make. Abstract? Landscape? Color?

I let these thoughts go in and then out of my head, and briefly opened my eyes and then closed them. The image that was etched into my mind when I closed them inspired the watercolor

Whether a trick of light or of my mind, I went with it and made this sketch.

Later on that evening, we put all of our artwork in a circle in the meditation hall for all to see. Many people, many of them the sisters of the monastery, took my sketchbook and carefully looked through the watercolors and drawings I had done of the Catskills.

I was honored by their rapt attention to the work, and their admiration of it.

All these years I have been seeking the approval of my father who told me I was not good enough, and have worked so hard to prove him wrong. Here I realized that all along I got an A+ from the universe and all is good.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Catching Up

Much has happened since I last posted.
I have:
Designed my show card for the end of October
Gone to a four day Buddhist Art Retreat
Worked on my cards for my steadfast client
and tomorrow I will be gathering/framing a few pieces for a show titled "Plein Air"

I have learned much at the retreat. I thought I could never meditate and found out that I have been meditating through my art since I was five years old. I am learning to see nature with an even fiercer and more loving eye.

In between being a mother, a wife, a teacher, a grandmother, and life's student I will somehow make time to make art, and share my vision of the world.

More to come, Patti

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


The show put me back a bit, and I have been trying to get acclimated to my school schedule. Work all day teaching kids who themselves are still on summer party schedule is tough, and afterwards I come home to work in the studio.

I freaked last week and did very little. Too much going on in my life and I knew I could not jump into two jobs so soon.

But this week I have to get back to work as I have an order to fill, and a show coming in another 7 weeks.

I also am going to Kentucky again to take care of my daughter's children while she recovers from some surgery. Thankfully the biopsies came back ok...but she will still need a hand with the 2 month old and the 4 year old.

The cards were made today, one for a man who owns a film house in Europe, the other, who knows who will get that one.

I hope I get some time to paint sometime soon too. I feel a painting needing to be birthed.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Show

It was three 14 hour days in a row. School started, and I had to finish up all the preparations for the show. I ended up getting 14 pieces finished/framed etc., and had a not-quite-full rack of cards.

The show was fabulously well put together. The artists were very cool, as were the sponsors and art patrons. Only thing is, it seemed people were more into the cocktail party aspect of it than buying art.

I did sell a small piece, and some cards, and would consider doing the show again. Often the success of a show is more than the financial profit - many people in the community got to see what I do and I was surprised that my paintings got as much attention as my mixed media works. I felt honored to be there, and it was a fun night.

I have artwork to take to BECKON, and will be preparing for my trunk show at the end of October. That will be my next challenge.

Photo is of the piece that I sold. Titled: She Wears Protection. Mixed Media/Encaustic.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Watercolor Sketch

Friday I overnighted a card order to a client, Saturday I delivered 20 cards to BECKON, downtown on the Strand in Kingston. Yesterday I spent the day with a friend, and today I did very little except play.

Tomorrow I start school, which absorbs a good deal of my time till next June. Somehow I have to keep painting, making cards, and growing as an artist in whatever time and energy I have left over from teaching art to teens-at-risk.

I still have to make cards for the show on Thursday, and have paintings to sign, so the next two days will be FULL!

Yet I know that after work tomorrow I will say F-it to setting up my classroom, and head home to sun and swim soaking up every last ounce of summer sunshine, and then dash back home to work in the studio for one last blast, as my mantra is to continue to take time each and every day for ME.

Today I headed to the banks of the Hudson River at Clermont for the sun set. I painted an expressionistic watercolor as the sun was blinding me off the Hudson River while I sipped on a Corona. It was a splendid day........