December 5, 2014

little piles of hope.

I am collecting the little piles of hope from the floor of my room. and making them into things.

so then 

I wont trip on them. 

Hope is a beautiful thing. 

Hope is a powerful thing. 

Hope is invisible. 

But also. 

You can see it. 

                                                                24" x 24" acrylic on canvas $500.00


and in the spirit of hope.

I just learned that one of my all time favorite professors died yesterday.


Read about her here.

She won the Pulitzer Prize.

but will be remembered for her energy. breath. and inspiration.

She was my English Professor in college.

I sat in the front. and I usually did. But I leaned forward in her class.

I remember now that I went by her office and gave her a piece of art when I graduated. I wanted to show her how much she meant to me. It was a bird.  How amazingly ironic.

I thought she was magic. and she made me want to be something great.

to say great things.

She is responsible for my love of Ralph Waldo Emerson (appropriately)

and gave me more confidence and excitement in writing. and articulating.

because she was excited to teach us. She marched while she spoke. She moved around the classroom.

she was the real thing.


" Guys!" she smiled. out of breath.

"I was thinking about you today while on my walk around the lake...

I had an idea!"


and I knew it was authentic.

I love authentic people. who are smart. and full of life.

I was so sad to hear that she died yesterday. and suffered at all. because I would have loved to see her again. and I will eagerly be looking out for her poetry that will be published after her death.


I am definitely putting her in my backpack and continuing to carry her with me.

Thank you Professor Emerson.

I adore you.
your work.
your passion.
and your commitment to making this place better.


“I may not always be the smartest person in the room, but I am the most curious,” - Claudia Emerson.


December 3, 2014

People I want to high five.

Or who I want to attack. 

In a loving way. thats slightly too much. 

I know. 


are the people who DO THINGS. 

and I say this a lot.
But it is because I want to hang out with the people who 


and usually. usually. 

those people love. greatly. 

because thats how you figure it all out. 




I say I want to high five and attack these people because I think if we touch these people

 some of their work and their superpowerish dust will maybe transfer to us. or me. selfishly.
just some of it. 

and I also feel so ridiculously inspired by people.


Like my friend Alex Ginsberg-Whitbeck. who takes her social justice passion to the level of action.

Her creative arts program RVA Stories was presenting work and I just walked by the room because I was looking for my lost paint brushes.

so I walked by. and then walked in.

and before I knew it I was part of a free yoga class with students from area high schools who later presented work that revealed their inner struggles and environmental challenges.

so. she is doing things.

I hug her whenever I see her. You would too.

She also champions other people.

kind of the most amazing thing you can do with your power on this earth.

she will support you and your great things. she wants to see everyone succeed.

shes not in it for herself.


and my friend Lydia Buschenfeldt.

I should do an entire post on her. but she has them herself actually. a ton of them.

at her blog

(go there later. you will stay a while)

This is my friend from college. from art school. who became a teacher. found her passion. and was living it.

but see. she got hit with a virus of some sort. that literally changed her life.
her body.

she is in and out of the hospital and learning to live an entirely new life.
feeding tube. pacemaker. surgery after surgery. complication after complication.
very serious things.



she is one of the most beautiful human beings to walk the planet. who inspires me so much that I text her often. and usually. she is lifting me up.

only last time I was soaking up her wisdom as I found out she was headed in for surgery again that very next day. she mentions it as an afterthought.


because it isnt. All the crap thrown at her is not the real stuff. the mattering kind.

SURE IT IS DUMB AND PISSES ME OFF SEVERELY and no one should have to deal with so much ridiculous. painful. or life altering things.

she laughs in the face of medical tests.
hilarious things happen to her also.

and she puts others first.

she created a new business. at a time when she is fighting to restart.


"So teaching was my first try. 
I gave it my all, and I had big plans that went so severely off course.
But now I have big plans for health coaching, and my business, and although it’s not the road I planned, it is now the road I choose.

So I’m going to take a big ol' gulp of green juice.
I’m going to put on my big-kid pants.
I’m going to swim back to shore.

And I’m going to try again."


healthiest person I know.

and I laugh hysterically when I think of her painting cows in PaintingII.


Hatch Health and Happiness

I am so proud to know you.

to love you.

and I just found this when googling her. she doesnt tell people when things are about her. but look.

she kicks ass.

im loving this video:

shes gonna love the still frame AHAHAH.


I am inspired by people. and

by ideas. 

and therefore - most inspired- by 

ideas that make their way into reality. 

that took that little pillowcase sack. on a branch from a tree. walked down the interstate a while. and 

freaking went somewhere. 

usually you need to get on someones pick up truck. to make it somewhere.
(shameless plug to the best vehicle out there.)

but what I mean is. you go farther with someone.

so. teams are awesome.

teams are important.



You know the scariest thing. 

Starting something. 

You know the worst thing. 

Not starting something. 


and on that note. 

In my work right now. I am painting birds. so many birds. and honestly.  

It is the only thing I want to do. 

right now. 

but I am also simultaneously learning a lot and getting ready to make big things happen. 
I am lucky to have people around me itching to make projects. and try new things.
and support.


let me tell you something new


but it starts with something old

I teach students in an amazing program. I have mentioned it a million (and one) times.

I am one of MANY people who teach. and work in it.


LIVE ART is a groundbreaking, inclusive arts education program for students of all abilities.

some of my students are shy. 

some of my students like cats.

some of my students have Autism. 

some of my students make amazing creative choices.

some of my students are leaders. 

some of my students have Down Syndrome. 

some of my students have blonde hair. 

some of my students get tired fast. 

some of my students have William Syndrome. 

some of my students say poetic and deep things. 

some of my students have Cerebral Palsy.

some of my students have freckles.

some of my students process things in different ways. 

 some of my students are Deaf.

and I have always been excited about Deaf culture. and communication. sign language. all of it.

My college didn't offer ASL (American Sign Language) 

so I took a couple classes many years ago...

Just because.

and not realizing that I would have Deaf students years down the road.

But also realizing. that when you do things. there is usually a grand reason that makes sense later.


I knew enough to say hi and ask my students some questions. and talk to them a little.

(in class we have interpreters. usually at least two. and they are some of my favorite people)


But then. I just kind of fell into it and 

got better and 


I am going back to school. 
to study ASL formally. 

and mainly... I want to be able to communicate better. 
to have deeper conversations and. well. when my heart beats faster. I always listen to it. 


Thats how I landed at LIVE ART. 
Thats how I guide my art career.

image copyright Martin Montgomery

and now. 

im gonna buy new notebooks and pens. and sit in the front.

and it is going to be a lot of work.
But if something is a lot of work. it is usually worth it.
If something is hard. it is a big deal.


I am going to be reminding myself of this a lot in the Spring. 

Im kind of a crazy student. I never missed a class when I was in college. 
Im serious. 

people are shocked. 

(I did oversleep once for Sociology. and cried. ask my roommate Jameson. and I think I sat outside the door for the last ten minutes. because I am insane.) 

but the thing is- I love learning. 

I love when someone knows things. 



then. the things you know increase. and you can tell them to other people. 

and maybe do things with what you know and what you want to know. 


My life. is my art.

This career decision is part of my art path.

it is a part of the work I do currently with my students.

and the people who I work with fuel me. and make me better.
I have an insane amount of support.

and I am taking this road for a bit. to gain some knowledge.

to grow.

adding to the work I do now. not taking away from. not changing direction.

life is about drastic moves.

It is crazy short.
so I dont want to waste any of it.


I am working on a track that takes a few years.

to become an Interpreter.

and what I am sure of is that it has always been a part of where I am walking.

so I am picking up a jog.

to help me reach more people.

and learn from more people.

Communicating. is the whole point of the arts.

and the whole point of life.


and I know it is a big deal. 

Because I am scared.


So. I keep painting birds. 

i love music. almost more than everything.