Monday, March 28, 2016

Drawing From Life

I haven't been using live models for quite a while and I miss the spontanaity of sketching rapidly. I like using ink since there is no going back to correct - or at least not much.

When I traveled with my late husband, Kai Winding , I always had a sketch pad handy and I would draw as fast as possible, since jazz musicians do not stand still while playing.

Here are some of my sketches:

This is from my book, Yoga for Musicians and Other Special People. Long since out of print.

Nice, France, jazz Festival

Kai winding on the cover of my book

More recent drawings of local models

30 second pose

conté crayon

60 second pose

45 minute pose

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Michoacan's Artisans' Market.

The state of Michoacan Mexico, sponsors a huge artisan market every year. This happens during the pre-Easter holidays. Over the years, I have attended 4 times and never have been bored or disappointed. This particular state supports their artisans by purchasing the products of all the prize winners. The artisan get paid and can continue to work and survive and the public gets to purchase these fantastic crafts and lower prices than in galleries.

Most towns in Michoacan have their own specialty; copper. ceramic, straw products, textiles, guitars and violins, leather and more that I am forgetting. On Saturday there is big, long and noisy parade with each district showing off their particular specialty. I didn't photograph the parade this year. We were more interested in studying the crafts.

My daughter, Cynthia and I had a long weekend in Uruapan, where the big market is held along with the Casa de Cultura that houses all the prize winners. It was amazing.

Prize winner in clay figures

A whole diorama in clay

wax figure


ceramic pineapples - a symbol of Michoacan

prize winnder

This wining blouse took over a year to produce.

more winners


I bought this beauty with the variations of silver and brass in the copper

Thursday, March 17, 2016

What Do I do When I am Not Painting

I do make abstract art; encasutic on board; 90 x 120 cm

Hello My Friends,

It is not easy to close the door to the studio and walk away; except for when I am teaching.

I spent most of 2015 painting everyday and this year I finished 10 paintings in my new series, "Memories" Before I hit a burn out, I am clearing my mind, working online marketing and am opening to new inspiration.

I love painting figures. When I was a lot younger, photographs or paintings of landscapes left me questioning " Where are the people?" Some abstract or non-objective paintings leave me asking, "Why"?

Encaustic painting, in my opinion, has almost become a fad or cult. It is such fun to put a torch to an encasutic surface and see the paint marbleize, but again, in my opinion. a lot of this work looks like colorful vomit.

I have gone back through my older work with a critical eye. Some hold up and others are not things I want to put out in the world, now or after I die.

Before I get abstract artists jumping on my back, I appreciate and admire abstract art; the kind of art that touches my heart. I have a feeling I want to make some abstracts again when I go back to the studio.

I have updated my website, so all the new work is there:

I do things other than painting. I volunteer for Feed the Hungry.  For over 10 years, I have gone to the Warehouse early Saturday mornings to help pack dry food for the over 4000 school children we feed nutritious lunches every school day These are children who would not eat otherwise.

Sundays are an other early start. Our meditation service starts at 8:30 am. Our group is Self Realization Fellowship. We rent the Buddhist center on Sunday mornings and transform it with flowers and pictures of our gurus.

If you have an interest in reading my memoir, you can down load it from Amazon. You do not need a Kindle. It can be downloaded to other devices:
 Fireworks at Dawn"  The story of my life, available in digital form.  It is never too late to live your dream. This is the story of how I changed from an older widow, subsisting on food stamps to a recognized artist, living in joy, peace and fellowship. I moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico when I was 70 years old and started life all over again.

Fireworks at Dawn takes the reader on a journey of my life, that can appear like a roller coaster; through betrayals and blessings to this delightful last chapter of my life. 

I have one painting in a group show that opened yesterday. Encaustic on board

I am working with an app that places images of my paintings in room settings

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Rewards of All That Work

March is women's history month and our show is part of that energy.

Months of work went into the open house we had last Sunday. My daughter, Cynthia Hamilton created our living room into a showroom for her pillow designs, "Once Upon My Pillow" and I showed my series" Women Who Change the World" to the public for the first time.

All the pillows are made from recycled natural fabrics, hand embroidered
Patti uses her treadle machine to construct the pillows. She has no electricity and can only work during daylight hours. Her husband has been without work, so she supports her family with her sewing
Candaleria does the hand embroidery so she can be home with her daughters

Just a few of the 90 pillows that were on display
Cynthia said “I created Once Upon My Pillow from a long-felt desire to do my part, my part for my community, for my fellow-woman, and for the environment.  With the help of women in San Miguel, and under my guidance, we created these pillows from cashmeres, silks, cottons, and the most unique trims and buttons, to design and make one-of-a-kind, boutique, pillow cases, all hand-made from 100% recycled materials. I had a desire to help local women work from home; stay close to their children, and explore and expand their natural creativity; hand embroidering and sewing with a treadle sewing machine, using 100% recycled materials.  I do most of the cutting and all of the designs and encourage my Mexican assistants to use their creativity.”

The attention that goes into each pillow is similar to a Chanel jacket but without the price tag.

Her Mexican assistants lives have become interwoven with hers. Of course it is challenging and time consuming for her to find the perfect garments to cut up to make beautiful designer pillows; however these are pillows with a purpose.

Ezshwan researched for months, deciding whom she would include in this series. ”I learned much about women that I knew of only superficially. I choose women whom I thought made significant changes in our world. There are many more, but I focused on 15. I could have continued indefinitely, but I felt it was time to move on to a new series.”