A Blogging Adventure

As I mentioned yesterday, today is the first day of my 4 week Blog Triage class with Alyson Stanfield and Cynthia Morris.

I am so excited to be taking this class. My blog definitely needs a facelift.

I have made a commitment to build a more exciting blog that will have a constant audience and many followers.

In order for all this to happen I need to write and post on the blog. I need to accept that this is an ongoing process and not a one time deal.

Thanks to Alyson & Cynthia I will learn how this process works in a more effective and efficient way.

We have homework and today’s assignment has 2 parts. The 1st one is to describe the people I want to visit and read my blog.

I have been thinking about this all morning (maybe this is why I don’t blog too often, I think about it too much???).

I want people to read my blog,  but specifically which people I want my audience to be? My blog is about art so it would be fun to have other artists read it.

It is always very inspiring to hear what other artists have to say about your work.

I would like my readers to be interested in all aspects of the art world, maybe in art education (or the lack of), art/artists from different countries. How about older artists/non artists who are starting over and doing what they love which is what I’m doing.

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“3rd Street” watercolor on paper 2009

I definitely want my friends and family to read it and share it with their contacts. Probably my former students would love to see my artwork and read my blog.

I can also get greedy and say that I would like art websites, galleries, art collectors and designers to stop by and read it. I don’t think age, background or region where my future audience will be from is something that I thought about.

The 2nd assignment is to write about what it is that I want to get out of blogging, what are my goals.

One of the things I want to get is to be able to connect  to readers and at the same time connect them with my art. To have them read about who I am, be able to see my art work, hopefully decide to invest in my art work.

I want to feel more comfortable about writing and sharing what I write. I am not a writer. I love to tell stories and could go on and on. I need to learn to write what needs to be said and then stop.

The main thing is that I want to feel comfortable with the whole process of blogging and getting readers to visit my blog. I want to have a ‘Healthy” blog that is fun to read, interesting, in fact so good…that you can’t wait to read my next post. Then I get lots of comments, meet some

wonderful people who enjoy my art work and share it with their friends.

After – Getting organized

The “Get Organized” class was wonderful. If you need organization in your life, make sure to check it out.

I Loved the “Get Organized” class (for the 2nd time around) and found it very helpful to have taken it for a 2nd time.

My file cabinet does look wonderful. I have Re-Organized my paper files.

I have made many changes through out the last few weeks.

Among major things I did throughout the class were:

Cleaning up my computer:

  • Finding  duplicate files/folders,  getting rid of them and giving my computer another 20 or so GB of space.
  • Merging all my emails into one account. Get everything on gmail but have it set up in a way that it’s labeled before I even see it. My camp acct. Art acct. & personal acct. Much easier to keep up only one inbox.
  • I got rid of about 50 folders/labels on my email acct. which made everything much more confusing.
  • I am DELETING emails instead of putting them in a folder marked “starred to check”…which I never checked by the way.
  • I am working on NOT opening up emails unless I will take action at that moment. Not always successful but I am thinking about it and trying to do it.
  • I am still working on the studio space. For now my studio/office looking ok on one side. I need to take many things out and take to storage and then it will be exactly how I want it. I will post pictures up as soon as I’m done.
  • I have made another BIG change, when I pick up my mail I automatically recycle anything that I won’t use. Only bring in the house whatever needs to be shredded, or filed. No more piles of mail everywhere. Junk mail doesn’t even come in the apt.
  • Everything is still a work in progress but I have gotten much further than the 1st time around. So it was definitely worth it to take the class over again.

 

Getting Organized

I am taking Alyson Stanfield’s “Getting Organized” class for a 2nd time around. You will see why when you look at the pictures. Since I moved I needed to reorganized everything so what better than doing a refresher course of this class.

Following are some “Before” pictures. Stay tuned for the “After” pictures in about 3-4 weeks.

These 2 pictures are of the closet in my studio/office. There are so many things that I can’t even close the door. The containers in the closet shelves are either full of photographs or belong to my son who can’t take them because he lives in Manhattan in a much smaller place than this.

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To the right of the closet I have bookshelves full of books plus papers which I’m not sure if I should get rid of. Let’s call this side the “office” side.

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Still going around to the right of the whole wall of book shelves is some other kind of shelves where I keep many things. Then comes the shredder and a little table with drawer where I keep all my camp things. Those 2 big blue & green bags are actually binders with all the emergency forms signed by the parents.

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Hanging from these shelves I have These very cool colorful organizers (not sure what they are called) which I planned to use for my mail and other things but have not used yet. These shelves are in pretty good shape except for the top one.

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The pic on the left is what used to be my desk chair which I now use to put things on because I don’t have an “actual desk” in the room and if I have to sit I use the big red ball which is supposed to be good for my back.

On the left you can see my printer cover with papers which I haven’t gotten rid off and next to it is the file cabinet with the scanner on top and a box of something on top of that. But…if you look on the shelves under the printer and the shelves to the right, I have all the printing paper organized.

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Since I don’t have a desk anymore I got this computer desk on wheels witch I can take around the apt. It was the best solution for now.

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So moving on to my studio side you will see that everything is much better organized and labeled. The picture in the middle has all my encaustics things. That black thing you see is a griddle which is used as my palette.

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The rest are a few pics of the studio side. Everything is a little cramped but…this is the room I have.

Here you can see my easel and table which I use for encaustics and watercolors.

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And remember…Stay tuned for the “After” pictures in about 3-4 weeks.

Phish Concert with my son

My wonderful 25 yr. old son Jonathan invited me  to a “Phish” concert here in Philly.

We went last Tuesday, Nov. 24th. I have to say that I did have a good time! I believe that I was probably one of the oldest people there…reminded me of my concert days back in the 60’s & 70’s.

I really enjoyed the lighting of the show! The lights person is very talented. Each set of lights looked like a piece of art.

Light Show

Light show turned computer art

Photo from the show which I turned into computer art

Art Exhibit

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The Opening of “de colores” exhibit happened

on October 18th at Gratz College.


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Heidi Schifferli, Lonnie Beer, Dottie Leonard, Julie Hastie and me

The exhibit did very well!  Five of my paintings found
new homes.


I had a
good turnout in spite of being a wet rainy Sunday afternoon.

My
awesome son
Jonathan set up the whole exhibit for me.

He has such a good
eye, I guess you need one to be a photographer….

He made everything look good
even on top of the dark brick walls in the gallery.

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Dodi klimoff, Lonnie Beer, Dottie Leonard, and me

Some
really wonderful things happened as well because of the exhibit.

The day after
my paintings went up I got a call from the director of the Olitsky Art Gallery
located in
Congregation Beth Or, Maple Glenn, PA. She expressed how
much she liked my paintings and asked me if I would like to exhibit in their
gallery.

I accepted and will be showing my work there in January.

The Opening
will be
on January 8th and the exhibit will be up

until February 4th. More info to follow!

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Ann Alberts, Gretchyn Hansen, and me

Another very cool thing that
happened at this exhibit was that a friend
from high school (we graduated 1969)
who I reconnected with through
facebook
came to the e
xhibit with her husband and
became one of my collectors. We hadn’t seen each other prob
ably since the early
1970’s since I went back to Art school in Argentina and we
lost touch.


My work is now up at Culture Hair
Studio

in Mount Airy.
It will be there until the end of the year

First Friday and Mount Airy focus on local art
coming up tomorrow:


You can get all the information at Mount Airy First Friday

and Mount Airy focus on
local art.

Here is a list of participating
artists
.

Following are photos of the paintings that went to new homes
in this exhibit.


Colorful Night

“Colorful Night”

La Boca

“La Boca”

Little Poppies copy

“Little Poppies”

Long Poppies newblog
“Long Poppies”

How growing up around color influenced my paintings

Why do I use bright colors?


I have been taking another one of Alyson Stanfield’s stimulating
online classes. I always get very
inspired and motivated while I take her classes. I meet new artists, and I
start to see my art career in a different way. Alyson is so knowledgeable and
the information she gives us is invaluable.

One of our lessons was to interview
ourselves and respond to our questions. We had to come up with about 10 questions. After thinking
about it, I came up with one at the moment. More will follow.

 

 

This is my 1st question: Why do I use bright
colors?

I use bright, bold, vivid colors when I paint. Which
had me thinking a lot about my choice of colors. I believe that it has a lot to
do with my upbringing and where I come from.

As I have mentioned in past posts and in my bio, I was born
in Buenos Aires, Argentina,
a very colorful city in every aspect. I also come from a very vibrant,
energetic family just as colorful as my hometown.

 

There are so many colorful feelings I have about my
childhood memories in Buenos Aires. One example is the color of the sky. It is deep
blue. I remember clear blue days with not a cloud in the sky. It’s a different
kind of blue than the sky here.
I’m not sure why, but I still see it every time I go for a visit.   BuenosAires_market

You
can see every color possible when you go to their
markets. But where you most see it is in the people. Buenos Aires is
one of the cities that never sleeps. Walking around you can see the
coffee houses full because everyone loves to go for a “cafecito”  (a
little coffee) any time of day or night. Porteños
(name given to Buenos Aires natives) love to  dance, eat, hang around
book stores and art galleries till the wee hours. This happens any day
of the week, not only the week-ends. They are always dancing away with
their colorful personalities.
Buenos Aires Market. Photo by Jonathan Meter

Buenos Aires doesn’t have a White House…it has a Pink House. That pretty much sums it up.IMG_3616

La Boca “La Boca” watercolor

Following are some of my latest “colorful“paintings

I have done for my Art Exhibit called “De Colores”

Purple Mountains

Tulips 2-full

The Pond

Summer Heat

The Still of the Night

How the summer enables me to be an artist

Heidi's Plants-new My life feels kind of opposite from most people. Summer for me is a time for long hours of work outside of my home. Much fun but long hours. What is summer to you? Time for vacation, to relax, slow down, right? For me summer is my “day job”  that allows me to be able to spend autumn, winter and part of spring being an artist. Well, actually I’m always an artist, that’s who I am. So to rephrase, it is when I am able to do my art. So thanks to the summer months I have the freedom to create, explore, paint, post on my blog…and be the artist I want to be. There are two d ifficult times in this backwards living: the transition between working i n my studio, doing it on my own hours, no alarm clock, to all of a sudden getting up at 5:30 am and working 12 hour days outside of my home. As much as I like it, it is definitely a shock to my system.

When summer starts, the first thing I do as soon as I leave the house is go to Starbucks and get a “Venti” (the largest) cup of coffee. This to summer transition takes me probably 1-2 weeks. Little by little I get used to being up at the crack of dawn and about my business. In case you are wondering, I have (together with 2 other teachers) an awesome camp called Fun in the Sun which I have been doing for 20+ years.

Banner for blog So all this lasts for about 12 weeks. Wonderful summer days surrounded by amazing, fun, creative, children of all ages. Campers from 4-13 and counselors from 14-30ish. We go non-stop 7:00AM to 6:00PM+  from the very first day of summer break to the Thursday be fore Labor Day.

And then…it’s back to the studio with out any prior “Getting ready to….”. So here I am, back and feeling overwhelmed and a bit at a loss. No alarm clock (and still wake up at 5:30) get up and not sure what to do. First of all, I make my own coffee (OMG), not sure if I remember how to do it. Photo on 2009-09-14 at 12-small

Then I have to figure out how to get back on facebook, twitter, update my blog, start painting, getting ready for a show…and I feel more like the little kids looking around on their first day of camp, not knowing where to go. “Me”…trouble with transition? I guess so! It’s been a bit more than a week and I am finally, well kind of, getting back to my “art” mode.

Where are all those wonderful children though? There is no one around…Up to two years ago I used to go directly from teaching to camp to teaching to camp, so I did not have a break to think about the transition, it kind of just happened. But now I have the privilege to go to my studio and create. I feel blessed & happy. At the same time…I feel like my painting,” Dazed & Confused”. Dazed and Confused-web

My son, my hero

Are your children your heroes? Did you ever stop to think about that? Has your child ever done anything that motivates you so much that it makes you rethink if you are doing what you want in life. Have you ever told your kid to follow his drJano-pirate age 6-7eam and to do what he “really” wants and not what someone else wants him to do? Did you ever realize that you told your child to do this but that you are not doing what you preach?
I tell you that I can answer “yes” to every single one of those questions. My son’s name is Jonathan, he is 25 yrs. old, lives in New York City in the East Village and I am happy to say that he did follow my advise. He is doing exactly what he dreamed of doing. Watercolor of Jonathan in 8th grade by Dora Ficher

I remember back when he was in kindergarten I guess, 5-6 years old he was a dreamer. Anywhere we went he stood in the background admiring and checking everything out before jumping in to join the crowd. He is an observer and picks up every detail of what he sees. I think that is the reason he decided to do what he does. During T-ball at that time he would get bored of waiting for the ball so he would sit on the grass and look at the flowers, the bugs and forget that he was waiting for the ball. When I tell him this story now he laughs because he became an incredible athlete all through school playing soccer and wrestling.

He graduated from Friends Select high school here in Philly and since in   9th-10th grade he knew he wanted to go to The University of Pennsylvania. He is a city boy. He applied early decision to Penn, got in and got the “Mayor’s Scholarship” which they give to several kids who live in Philadelphia to go to Penn. When he had to choose a major he was very confused and decided to go with Political Science and Fine Arts Photography as a minor. He thought he would go to Law School after graduating. At that point he started working for the school newspaper The Daily Pennsylvanian” as a photojournalist. He became a staff photographer very quickly. He absolutely loved it and took some amazing photographs for the DP. He had been into photography since he was 10.

During his junior year he was involved in a very bad car accident with 3 of his friends on Oct. 22, 2005. He was not able to go back to school that semester because he had to have two surgeries. He did go back to school in January and graduated a semester after all his friends (Dec. 2006). During his time off he lived at home so I could take care of him while he recuperated both physically and emotionally. We had long conversations during that time when he realized that he didn’t really want to go to Law school. He just thoughtIMG_5641 that Law School would be ok because he would get a good job. But having gone through a traumatic experience (talking from experience, but that will be another post) made him evaluate what life is all about and he decided to pursue his photography. He has been working for himself free lancing ever since. He started out in Philly and then moved to NYC where he lives with his girlfriend whom he met at Penn and who also wanted to go to Law School. Worked in a firm for 2-3 years and is now in one of the NY Culinary schools studying to be a chef.  They live in this wonderful pre-war apartment where the shower is in the kitchen, how cool is that?

So, why is he my hero? He is doing what I wish I would have done back in my 20’s but didn’t have the guts to do. Watching how Jonathan is doing gave me the courage to do it. He is following his dream. He is a professional photographer in NYC. Taking cues from him, after much soul searching, I retired from teaching and am now following my dream.

Above photo: Jonathan and Jessica (his girlfriend)

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Photograph by Jonathan Meter

Check out his website: www.jonathanmeter.com

And his blog: jonathanmeter.blogspot.com

Author of “Eat, Pray, Love” Elizabeth Gilbert: A different way to think about creative genius

Colorful Spaces-small  "Eat,Pray,Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, is one of my favorite books that I have read in the past two years. It made such an impact on me that I gave it as a gift to everyone I know. I even bought copies in Spanish and gave it to my friends and family last June when I visited Buenos Aires.
I have been wanting to write about this book because after reading it
is when something clicked in my mind realizing that I needed to pursue my dream to do my art100%.

The funny thing about all this is that I met Elizabeth Gilbert back when first her nephew and then her niece were my students in kindergarten, She use to pick them up after school sometimes and we would talk about the kids. So to me she was just the aunt of these kids. Well, the kids moved on to the next grade

so I saw her more infrequently now. Just at school events or around the playground after school at times. At the same time my book group decided to read "Eat, Pray, Love". We had the best discussions about the book, It was one of the first books that we all agreed on many of the issues. As I read it and finished it, I had no idea that the Elizabeth Gilbert was the the same woman who I saw at school. To me she was just the kid's aunt. So when I found out, I emailed her and asked her if she could come to our book group. By that time she was so busy that she emailed me back and said she was very sorry but she was not able to put one more thing on her plate, which was ok.
So, why do I love the book: because
Life is too short. After reading it, I felt I needed to make many changes. The biggest change I made was to retire from teaching and do feed my creative spirit. In other words I started creating via a pencil, a marker and a brush.
This book has changed my life. Reading Gilbert's text is a meditation. As you follow her on her journey, you begin to look at your own life, your fears, your  dreams and hopes. Maybe we can't all travel the world to heal our wounds, but this book has healing power. It asks us to dig down deep, to go places we're not sure we want to go, and then it asks us to move on, changed. It is clear that Elizabeth Gilbert wants her readers to experience pure joy, to live our best lives; she cares that much about each and every one of us. The gift she give us is this: as we finish the book, we realize that we care that much about ourselves.

Following you can see a video which I found on TED  Great website by the way. Check it out.


The above painting is one of my new oils: "Colorful Spaces"


“If you have any experience with "Eat, Pray, Love" or with Liz Gilbert, we’d love to hear about it!
Just click on Comments below to add your two cents.”