Thursday, April 30, 2009

Farewell to April and a gentle artist headed for another exhibit...

I worked in the gallery today and spent some time with a dear little friend who is four years old and we painted with sparkle watercolors. I call Lulu Ms. Kandinsky for her wonderful splash of clear colors and total abandonment when she is painting. We took time sharing special brushes and my well loved tiara while we were "queen for the day". Michelle worked with diligence on a new organic sculpture and smoothed the edges with a water brush to slowly transform this sculpture into a living hand created vessel for life. Tony worked all day entering checks to cover the publication of Michelle's baby our very first LCA directory in living color. Marilyn had her four students engaged in new lessons and techniques employed when making their watercolor worksheets. All of this is Artist breathing osmosis and synchronicity in a ballet of energies.
Tomorrow May is blowing into our lives and as I speak plans are being made to go on a short vacation to be near the ocean. The others are down in Cincinnati and spent the day at the aquarium and walking "under" shark with sharp, sharp teeth! My mother's family has a reunion planned at her favorite city park on her birthday. Then on August 1 my godchild Amber and Michael are planning their wedding in Charleston, SC. Whew...I am praying for the strength and energy to keep up with the young folks and ...still do my work. One day at a time... and one bite of an elephant...dyeing new lush greens and Pacific blues for the next two major quilts for my women's work process. Momma help me and guide my hands please.
Did you see the disintegration video Ken put together for me? I could not do these technical things without him because I am too impatient with this computer. I have to get back to my quilting ....yeah I found my Magic Thread today so using the fragile copper threads is so much easier. I found the one and only little blue package at Hobby Lobby; as I squealed with delight all the bead artists in the aisle came to see what I was so excited about. I do think their buyers should order more than just one product at a time. Have a restful night of sleep. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Revelation of my Mysterious Disintegration Project

a light rain kissed my face as I searched for an answer...
I slowly unveiled the sacred remnants hiding under a budding clematis...
the sheer purple silk ribbon from my mother's last bouquet slid quietly off the wrapped book...
as almost if the ribbon had never been exposed to the winter's brutal harsh elements...
fortitude and perseverance ...
the sheer white gauzy cotton wrap was blackened and almost unrecognizable when I release the second knot...
a stubborn obstacle to be released but not without a fight to remained sealed in silence...
and the coarse polyester yarn relaxed and showed no wear after this test in exposure in Nature' elements...
but the accordion paper book had been eaten away by a small creature possibly for a nest...
gently I began to persuade the accordion pages that were filled with affirmations to open to reveal their secret diaries nurtured by neglect or protection...
some words were visible and yet somewhat hidden in the earth's black mold that collages with my sacred marks and mementos adhered with glue to the simple papers...
stitches remained connected...
plastic netting protected the small borrowed poem...
to help a man help himself...the work of his hands...
the aromas from the earth's inclusion and almost invasive process filled my nostrils...
small roly poly bugs slid from the crevices and ridges on the surviving paper pages...
green relief still visible;imagine a world with zero trash;
a miracle to be realized? I can make a difference with my individual vote....
the power of one individual....
art saves lives...
art saves lives...
art saves lives...

I can hardly wait to learn the next lesson. Imagine Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

milestones deserve remarkable gifts...

I spent the day catching up on the never ending routine chores every household includes. My daughter called me during the afternoon when I was celebrating an Abba event while I was home alone....remember to dance like no one is looking! Ken and I ended up picking up the girls after school and headed downtown to The Works so they could hopefully meet the visiting artist from Costa Rica and see his wonderful exhibit. Juan Carlos Camacho was there and kindly walked around the gallery with the girls and answered their questions with the patience of the father that he is. We made plans to come back and pick up Juan Carlos at his residence so we could all have an early dinner together. I really like this young man and I wanted to have him share an evening meal together we Ken and I before he returned to his work alone in the artist residence. Time has flown by this week and he is headed to Georgia on Thursday for his next exhibit. I feel Ken and I have been so fortunate to have had such a diverse group of talented artists share our life over the last 23 years. I am hopeful that this circle will continue to grow up in to our golden years.
Ken is still grading his final works from his students and I thought I would spend the rest of this moment in time quilting on my piece... but I had another fall this afternoon and I guess I am more tired than I realized. Now I am sore and frustrated because I lost my balance once again and will have to take time to ...well feel better. Please say a prayer that tomorrow I will ready to return to my mission quest. Take time to remember your milestones in your daily life and share simple but remarkable gifts with those you love. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Monday, April 27, 2009

My Value of Art....

I have been working on this article for Michelle Channel's work of art...our first professional LCA Artist directory; this is going to press this week. Needless to say this is not an easy task to put into words and I do so want to make this a sincere and authentic article. The last week has been full of valuable art experiences in our community. The Dawes Arboretum celebration, The Art Walk in downtown Newark, meeting a gracious Costa Rican artist Juan Carlos Camacho with his beautiful watercolors shown at The Works gallery, The Portrait Exhibit at the LCA gallery and our beloved Don Gunnerson's six decades of art making at Liz Argyle's downtown gallery. Our families joined in a happy art experience filled with Joy and music and laughter. I am tired but totally am breathing jubilation with this moment in time. My passion for the Arts strengthens my body and soul. I have my "disintegration" photos to collect and select for Seth, I have a composition for the Laramie Project with Judy Shepard (mother of Mathew Shepard), the colors to be selected for the Aguilar sisters three canvases and continue quilting on my Kath Walker narrative quilt. Do I really have to do the housework? the laundry? cook the dinner? YES I do!
I am enjoying the documentary day with the Sundance channel on Monday's and in the background the "Traveling Wilburys" documentary is being celebrated. Tom Petty, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison were all engaged in making vocal arts in performance. Dylan blows me away and Jeff .... the guitarists , Jim... was the percussionist created recordings collaborating together and in front of the vocal microphone as intimate performance art. If you get a chance to see this documentary short you will see the importance of community and making sound, tones and vocal gifts for the world's musicians to enjoy! "Congratulations" is a favorite of mine with its instant collaboration of Bob Dylan the Wilbury's.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Final Fridays in Newark, OHIO!

Final Fridays are here and the weather could not be better for our community to come out and play in the wonderful world f fabulous Arts. Thank you Tiffany for your wonderful article about Don's retro exhibit at Liz Argyle's gallery. Ken is on his way down to complete a photo montage and video we are working on for his birthday present....what else can you give this glorious man. I want to remind everyone to attempt to see the C-tec The Laramie Project over at the Weathervane in the children's theater. You will be amazed by the powerful performances of thought provoking dialogue. Tomorrow all my grand children are coming tomorrow for Arbor Day so I need to bake some brownie bites and fix the picnic lunch. I hope you can get out and enjoy the gifts from our community talents. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thank you Rachel...

Thank you Rachel W for explaining to me what a RSS feeder service is and how it can help you read and stay attuned to your favorite blogs that one might want to read. I am learning in a very slow manner to find my way around the power of this Internet we have fallen prey to. Be patient with me as I fumble my way through! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

A day of total Art in Newark, Ohio

The LCA gallery was hopping today as the rush to finish the artist directory edges toward the printing date. The watercolorists were back in their glory and child like wonder making wonderful "circles" to install in our bathroom at a future date. Lyn Logan Grimes and Juan Carlos came for a wonderful visit to our gallery and then went over to Liz Argyle's to see and greet Mr. Don Gunnerson as he makes final preparations for tomorrow's opening night. Tiffany Auman came in and very quickly worked up an article for the Advocate. My hopes are high that they will publish this but with our ever shrinking printed paper it is a flip of the coin. Juan Carlos and Don had a great visit sharing experiences in the architectural world. I asked Juan Carlos to buy a raffle ticket for Tony's wooden bowl and If he wins I will personally deliver it to his studio in Costa Rico. Well I can dream about the warmth of Costa Rica sun during our cold bitter winter months in February. WoooHooo!
Tonight I came home and rested for about 20 minutes and then went over to witness 9 very talented high school actors who performed "The Laramie Project" play about the cruelty of man's inhumanity to man...the Mathew Shepard Story. Weathervane has a year round theater program with C-tec students and I do so wish MORE people could have seen this magnificent performance. Despite the cold evening air and small crowds the evening was a memorable experience for all present. They have performances on Friday and Saturday evening at 7 pm so if you are free you just might want to check out these powerful young actors. There are 9 performers in this production and they employ 86 different characters. Brice Corder worked on the set design and the director Tim Browning empowered his young studies to offer strong authentic performances. I have been working on a piece about the power a mother has in her love and devotion to her son who happened to be born gay. Thought provoking affirmations and prayers for understanding someone who may appear to be different from who we happen to be. After the play we were invited to discuss our impressions and ask questions of the young proteges in their quest to develop as an actor. My words are totally inadequate when it comes to expressing my gratitude for everyone involved in this incredible educational program. I am soooo tired tonight and we have two more busy days planned during this exquisite weather with Arbor Day on Saturday and the Art Walk in Final Fridays tomorrow. Come on down and join in on the fun and family opportunities in Licking County! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

what a glorious day...gratitude for simple gifts

Ken and I hung Don Gunnerson's retrospective exhibit today in about 4 hours but tomorrow I need to install 5 more paintings...50 for the total count. I think others may be surprised to see the variety of works of this architect/artist over the last five decades. What a glorious celebration of this man's life here on earth and we have all been blessed to have had him in our lives. Collages. watercolors mixed media, sculptural boxes and prints to love and hold. I gave this installation a great deal of thought and consideration in placement for the very best optimum location in this wonderful gallery space at Liz Argyle's Gallery in downtown Newark. The Final Friday walk is a collaboration of sincere pride for Licking county with downtown offering music, four different galleries and restaurants offering a light Spring dinner menu early in the evening and Travis Tritt performing at the Midland Theater at 8 o'clock. Who says there is nothing to do in Newark? They have got to kidding!
Ken and I then went over to see Juan Carlos Camacho's exquisite collection of watercolors over at The Works. Once again through the eyes of a architect we can witness the beautiful process this gentle man has created and shares with our community. I felt incredibly honored to be invited by Marcia and Jonathon Downes to share the dinner meal with Juan Carlos. This intimate dinner gave us both a inner intimacy in how this incredible Costa Rica artist composes and paints these wonderful scenes from his rich, lush homeland. I have a memory of this evening in my mind's eye and heart's song. Juan generous authenticity and vitality for living an artist life was inspirational and at times emotional. We all have our destinations and journeys in living but his Latino presence and dedication are indescribable. His brushstrokes onto the papers capture the spirit of the rain forests and mountain lifestyles with the guidance of a spiritual higher being. Thank you Marcia and Jon for sharing this gracious man for an evening of intimacy and Juan Carlos I so look forward to visiting your homeland as soon as possible. I am totally wiped out and ready for bed but my dreams will be vivid and full of Hope on the day we celebrate our Mother Earth! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

RSS feed readers...?

Does anyone out there know what a RSS feed reader actually is? I am hoping to hear from one of you enlightened generous spirits out there in "blog world". I have been asked to be on facebook and to tweet on twitter but as of today my blog is the simplest method for me to connect with other artists who live far away and have a new idea to share with me in my log cabin! Imagine Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Cultural Arts of Licking County...a seed germinates

I attended a full committee meeting at the foundation building this afternoon and I want to commend the courageous members from Licking County who dedicate their energy to make the Arts a viable, living groundwork for making our community a more humane place to live and grow. The Final Friday Art Walks are blooming this Friday with galleries and theaters and restaurants all cooperating to prepare for a family event that will costs little to attend. This is quite an undertaking but it is happening. August 1, 2009 is the second anniversary of the Art Walk activities and once again the whole town has an opportunity to share and shine in pride for this growing collaboration. I will be attending my god-child's wedding in Charleston, SC but I have dedicated myself to work with and for others in preparation for this hometown hullabaloo. Unfortunately you can't always be in two places at one time but I think I have plans for 2010. CALC is a jewel where good people do good works together!
I read an other's blog survey last night and he had collected info from his survey about why people read blogs...good question don't you think? Time constraints are an obstacle in making comments for some readers. 2. Many times family members, non-artists are often persons who give zero comments but prefer to email directly to the writers. (So true for myself and my readers) 3. There were equal numbers of readers who read and then write to comment on a blogs main ideas/thoughts/processes. 4. Most bloggers agreed they love to read other blogs but do not leave comments and yet...they all agreed they love to receive feedback. 6. RSS...I did not know what this meant but it was about a Feed to re-address pertinent information. I guess if you are reading this you kind of understand my focus is about finding a serene dialogue with others who care. Art truly saves lives and my words seem totally inadequate in expressing my gratitude to those of you who support my life's journey in making my Art. Have a great evening. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mondays Monday...why do you have to be so gray?

I had a wonderful invitation arrive today from Queen Brooks and Janet to a collaborative exhibit that will open at Elijah Pierce Gallery on May 7, 2009 in Columbus. In the spirit of their ancestors these courageous women have worked intensely to partner; Inspire; Encourage; Educate and Elevate women in the Arts. I need to contact the King Arts Complex to schedule the artist talks and lectures; I would like to learn more from this wonderful group of women.
I delivered my invitations to a good friend for her son's upcoming nuptials and then went on a journey quest to find some materials for a dress...Yes... I said a dress for my god child's wedding in August in Charleston, South Carolina. I am still leaning to something very simple and cool in maybe a french blue with small bead embellishments. The South is just so humid so I need to find a comfortable and easy design to have ready for the trip down south. I can not tell you how long it has been since I have made a dress for myself. Vintage design elements are possible with a flowing skirt and a very light shawl to drape over my shoulders. Anyway I have looked in several shops and most are for the very young and hip ladies and when they might have a chance of fitting they are so darn disappointing in their design. The costs are way out there and I guess they do not know we are in the middle of a recession. Wish me luck!
I went on line last night to search for homemade deer repellents. My outdoor family members have chowed down on just about everything that is trying to come up. The lilies are just a memory and my beautiful hosta plants are almost invisible. If it rains tomorrow I will put some fertilizer on the remaining survivors and hope for a resurrection. Have a great evening. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Sunday, April 19, 2009

my archelogical my studio

I have spent hours working on my quilt today with chain stitches and red quilt stitches...I am almost ready to begin the birthing process with my "mother of pearl" embellishments and my Australian woman who I met so many years ago; Kath Walker. I pick up her poetry sometimes when I am ready to switch sitting positions and get up to move around. I also worked in my studio finding just the right Czech rainbow beads to incorporate into Kath's hair flowing into a vibrant red evening sky. After all this hullabaloo, I am able to see my "woman of grace" vibrate in my hand dyed fabrics. I got out my instructions for fiber reactive dyes to work up for the new pieces to accompany Kath Walker's piece. I am a little out of practice because it has been more than a couple of years since I bit off a big job. Little by little I need to set up my make do "wet" studio in the garage and have ready to go in May. I will use my Geo to steam the final products in the trunk of my car...sitting in the hot sun works well to set the colors and then begin making selections for the rain forests and the barrier reef pieces. I still have major moments of despair and fear of the unknown but little victories feed my soul to keep one foot in front of another. When I feel myself getting over stimulated...I find laundry to wash and iron my pristine white shirts to wear as the weather beckons us outdoors. The earth has that warm fragrance as we step outdoors and the birds are coming home to roost and build their nests. I do sneak out to work just a little in the pruning process in the small serenity space outside my backdoor. I am excited to put my woman sculpture together and prepare her to be a guardian from my deer friends who enjoy my salad buffet of lilies and new sprouts. Vicki Noble found me rusty ladybugs on a wire and I have plans to use some of my large glass beads in her wardrobe completed from found rusty objects. Do I know how to do this? Well I have never done this before but it sure has been fun and keeps me looking at the sidewalks and streets as if I am on a dig in Newark, OH.
I have about 10 days to collect and sort my disintegration project photos for the May 1st deadline and then we have the second progression of rituals to perform. There are over 100 artists working in totally different design elements so no one can predict the outcome. This whole experiment is about trust, process and not knowing what will come next... this is a lot like working out solutions in making a Life as an artist. The LCA has a busy week planned with final Friday exhibits in downtown Newark, Arbor Day at Dawes...their 80th celebration, and then a family celebration for Saturday and Sunday. I wish you a week full of surprises! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Saturday, April 18, 2009

slight does not take much!

I attempted to type a quick response to my last 48 hours. The sunshine has been like a drug pulling my body and spirit to BE outside on my wild hillside. I have been studying the miracle when the earth gives birth to small green sprouts reaching for the sky. The earth is warming and the rains are nourishing the soil as I gently pull away the debris left from winter's path. Ken rakes the ground with all his might and I can almost feel the need for gentleness as I encourage the lilies and clematis as they come back to life with each new day's dawn. Needless to say both of us have success as the perennials resurrect for Spring of 2009. Michelle guided my soul with her quote that I shared earlier in the previous shortcut blog. I could feel myself coming back to myself with her gentle kind words...much like my lilies that will bloom for just one day at a time. I need to practice patience with my weakness and tremors of fear. I need to see and ignite my small light. Thank you Michelle.
Today I attended a workshop/demo with Nicholas Hill. He is a teacher, artist and mentor for so many artists that have crossed their paths in my own journey. Intaglio, mono-prints, chine-colle (spelling) were just a couple of his retro look and discussion of his past works, travels, and a multitude of influences. There were 12 in the class but I wish more could have been there to be inspired by this wonderful artist and his ever evolving narrative as an artist. Thank you Lynn for generously organizing these experiences for us to attend and digest and maybe re-evaluate our own influences. techniques and inspirations. I did take quite a few photos but I will have to process and select a couple of the very best examples he shared with the group. Thank you Nicholas for your genuine support of others and courageous dialogues about the last couple of decades of your portfolio.
I visited with Maya and Sabrina and Hannah as they were relaxing at home. Maya was reviewing for her Ohio Achievement tests that will begin next Monday and Wednesday. I can feel the stress in her back muscles as she assures me that she is ready but her eyes betray the fear of failure and not being at the top of her class. We read together and then went out to see her latest assemblage made from found objects, ferns and rocks mounted on a lost piece of wood. Her sacred marks speak so well to my heart's murmurs. Sabrina was engrossed in a movie/video and enjoying a quiet moment in her day. Hannah was completely engaged in making play dough foods, delicacies and too many cookies to even attempt to eat. All three were engaged in expression of themselves without external jurors/critics holding them back ...a gentle reminder to make your sacred marks like a child...totally engaged without fear.
I watched "Grey Gardens" tonight while I quilted my continuing marks on my quilt. This haunting view into two lives of forgotten and very pained individuals who become invisible to those around them... mental illness and isolation are demonstrated in a poignant fashion. I will watch this special again...I am sure I have not digested all that was presented in this two hour film intimately portrayed by two incredible actors striving for authenticity. If you see this film let me know how you might have interpreted this film. I am going to blockbuster to retrieve the 1975 documentary that I vaguely remember seeing years ago. I am back to work for now. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

a light in the world gives hope even if only one sees it....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

revelations and a journey for solace...

What was once familiar
now seems strange
and somewhat strained
What was once my place of solace
is foreign
and somewhat strained
I left to walk out into the sunshine
with a realization that you can not go home
and that is why I feel this enormous strain.
I need to listen with my heart... to my heart.

After my time in the gallery I went to the Will; our Goodwill for a moment of release. I found a wonderful edition with all the Winnie the Pooh poems and stories but it was for me as well as my grandchildren. I also found a mystical paperback called The Sight by David Clement-Davies. I bought the book because the book cover is of a white wolf with piercing golden eyes. The back of the book says this is a heart warming work of imaginative vision. I will see if I can concentrate well enough and over come my dyslexic tendencies to read this story. The White wolf is my constant companion. Have a restful night. I went outside with my Rosie and the evening sky is crystal clear with the dancing twinkle of celestial lights in my western horizon. Imagine and Live in peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Italy anyone?

A few days ago I said it out loud that I want to return to Italy ASAP... anyone interested??? I will go by myself if I have to ; I have done it before now. The Fall is a beautiful time to see Umbria and Florence and well just about any place in the entire country. Bona Sera! Just a thought to sleep sweet dreams through the night. Imagine Peace, Mary Helen

positive pause... my moment in time

Today is TAX day and a time where even the strong sometime get a little nervous about the situations in the world. We paid Federal. State, City, School taxes as well as our home owners insurance but I consider myself fortunate to have our country and my home. Ken made all the postal deposits and I decided we needed dinner alone tonight. It was Red Lobster and we had a nice dinner where Art and Irma's grand daughter Rachel waited on us and filled us in on two very special artists. No, we could have eaten at home but for some reason I wanted a quiet pause in the chaotic day of tea parties and ship pirates, news better left alone today. We enjoyed a nice dinner and enjoyed watching the couples around us in the dining room... generations united to face what today gave us and what tomorrow will share with us. I met with my commission person and we finalized a gift of love... my simple calligraphy and artistic guidance to create invitations in vellum and teal to celebrate an up coming wedding. The act of sharing with another who can use a helping hand takes my mind off my changes and losses and helps me to move forward in a different direction. I have everything I need and I have so much to give back.
I received the latest news with the beginning of the disintegration collaboration with 120 artists from all over and on May 1, 2009 we will all post our photographs and documentation and then click down the links on Seth's blog to check out our progress and final evidence. Hopefully with this connection, we will all be able to share our thoughts and energies that disintegration created in a positive force. Then we will all begin a new artwork incorporating our first project or elements from the process left out in the weather. Anew process gives birth to a new piece of work and its evidence of our commitment to exploring an unknown. The next big reveal will be 8/1/09 and I can hardly wait to see what comes next. Maybe a publication or an exhibit... the future is so exciting. I work in the LCA gallery tomorrow but hopefully I will complete my assemblages and cards tomorrow and deliver them on Friday or Saturday. Good night sweet friends! Imagine and live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Peace by piece...a life's journey

When you find old letters and do you take a moment to remember the person who wrote the message and now we all share what happens in the future? Maybe that is why I like marking marks a little everyday... it is evidence that I am still here and still a "thinking being". It is so easy to just check out of "feelings" by just doing the mundane scheduled parts/tasks of our lives. I do find comfort in doing and folding laundry... a menial labor that is evidence that I filled the time with something I need to do. It also allows me time to write an imaginary script or outline of what I would like to do "Today". I have always been a firm believer in "Standing still is essential for my journey". Sorting also is an introduction to my creative process and allows me to move at my own one to answer to but myself. I am the responsible one to answer to...even on a good day there is still a recognizable amount of fear present that I have to step make my first mark. Finding old writings reminds me of where I was and maybe even where I dare to go right now. My work has always been little pieces assembled together by stitches, cloth, collage and a variety of assemblage techniques. Small reliquaries that are passages in my existence of almost six decades, time is the only gift! Imagine Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hoppy Happy Easter!

Yesterday was filled with childhood memories and egg hunts for the grandchildren! We spent the whole day outside and then played Spades while the girls ran outside looking for the 2 missing eggs that were not found earlier in the day. They all had a great time and found more they did not have enough? And each one received a couple of coupons for a special gift from Mom and Dad. We ate too much; I lost at cards...someone has to lose and I went home and crawled into my bed early. Hoppy Happy Easter to you and yours.
Today it is rainy and cold and so different from yesterday's warming sunshine. I am putting the Easter stuff away for another year and picking up the house. I have a commission to complete so I do have work to do today...WOOO HOOO! We are both on a reorganizing kick and Ken found some of my poetry from 20 years ago and I thought I would share this one with you.
Listen with Your Heart...
Listen with your heart
to yourself
your family
your world of rhythms
give a touch of love
trust an energy pure
explore a wave of color
to heal both body and soul
the weathering of living
Listen with your heart.

Stay warm and cozy on this rainy April Monday! Happy Birthday Baby Brother Mark! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Saturday, April 11, 2009

5000 Easter eggs hidden in plain sight...

Infirmary Park held an Easter egg hunt with 5000 Easter eggs and 1000 little ones with their parents and grandparents... all searching for the one special egg where a child could find $100.00 for hopefully their college fund. Needless to say it was all over in a matter of seconds and some were disappointed not to be the one lucky one. I know Maya Rose was so sure she would be the one to find it amidst the flurry of activity and stampede of wishful children. The sun was out and glorious but it was still windy and with the wind came a chill to the bone. Community outings like this are critical to keeping that connection between Nature and the next generations. Tomorrow we have a small family planned egg hunt where everyone is a winner. I have made their goody bags with cute...I think they are cute ...little angels Spring clothes plus the tees Maya and Sabrina made over their break last week. Ken is making his famous barbecue sauce for chicken, we will still have ham, potato salad, deviled eggs, pasta salad and many surprises to spoil our figures.
I ran some errands and came home for a little nap. The fresh air is great but I always revert back to my desire for a nap after a afternoon outdoors at the Park. I did park way out by the main road and I am sure that was more walking than I was planning on. I have made small Easter cards and will work on sorting my art papers tonight and just relax. Italy is on in the background and I do so want to make another pilgrimage back to this holy country. The landmarks and even the earth quake will not deter my "lust" and passion to go back for more. Perugia, Italy is where my god-daughter spent a semester abroad in college and I do still regret not flying over when she was there. Umbria is another destination in my heart as well as Sienna. I bought a new "blue" carry on suitcase for my trip to Tucson that was half price and I had an additional 30% off coupon. If you are interested in Italy just let me know...I am so sure we could dig out more information for an adventure in Art and the gifts from travel.
Ken worked on his school records and papers for Capital University. He will be teaching this summer as we are both attempting to get out from under my hospital bills. How dare me to even dream to take a trip anywhere? Well to bad because Life is for living and I find an inner strength when I reach out to the world's multitude voices and songs. We will see what happens.
My vision in my left eye was and is troublesome for me today and it is so frustrating when I am trying to quilt an even theme in my stitches. Please be patient with me because I know everything will return but in its own good time. I wish you all a healing renewal spirit with the celebration of Easter morning. Hug your loved ones and Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday ... in so many ways

Catholicism memories weave in and out of my mind on Good Friday. His only son died a terrible death on the cross to save us from damnation. The three o'clock prayer service on Good Friday as a child in a darkened church with all the saints draped in shrouds of deep purple filled me with utter fear and solemn sadness. Fear would cause my skin to prickle with an uneasiness with the knowledge of man's inhumanity to a gentle kind man. My last major Catholic holiday when my Mother was in relative good health was a midnight vigil mass on Holy Saturday at the cathedral in Louisville ,Kentucky and it seemed to last forever. Mom would begin to sway from standing for so long and Latin litanies and incense filling this sacred space but she refused to maybe leave early or at least sit down... now you know my secret to why I may be so stubborn. The art in Mass... ritual and ceremony with layers of symbolism and mystical presence runs through my narrative works that reveal much more than I have ever realized until now.
I spent the entire day with the girls and we finished our tees and watched different Disney movies while we pretended that was cold and rainy outside. The rain makes them crazier than I am used to but I am so blessed to have them close and nearby. I wish I could keep my energy up enough to keep up the pace with these two little ladies. I feel sad when I get "short" with them and have to raise my voice to get their attention. When we are engaged in an art process they behave so much better... but if I stop too soon all their pent up wiggles run awry. Tomorrow I need to set up a calligraphy project for a young couple who are engaged to be married. I want to give it a special hand touch so that when you open the envelope you know this is a special occasion for the whole family. The colors are vibrant and soothing at the same moment but when you actually write on the selected papers you transfer a positive energy.
Tonight Ken and I had a special dinner with two 83 year olds who have found each other late in their lives but I love watching them. The gentle closeness is expressed without requiring any further energy and yet it becomes a time of sacredness to be in their presence. We had a glorious meal complete with crab legs...Ken was a very happy man and ate like a King! Have a good night's rest because we have so much to do with tomorrow. Imagine and live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thursdays in the gallery...

I spent the day in the LCA gallery with Michelle and she is doing a fantastic job on the artist directory...strictly first class and so well executed in color and layouts. Thank you and Kathy Anderson for your wonderful dedication and perseverance through this enormous project. Andi Smith is beginning to help Michelle with the layout for the April deadline. Please do not let this deadline pass you by because it is a job that nurture and help all of us raise the bar in our developments as artists. Marilyn Stocker had an intriguing watercolor class where I learned all about the importance of arches watercolor papers and a very specific selection of sea salts from all over and the vast techniques and images produced. Then shapes were cut and a composition was given birth in a matter of a few playful minutes. Bravo to you are all doing so well in your progress.
I continued my "base" quilting before I started another water project. In all my running around I have gotten behind on my set schedule. I have to keep my focus to reach my deadlines. I am anxious to get to work with my copper threads and to begin my mother of pearl embellishments. I have found some wonderful colors to incorporate into the quilt but I have to remain patient, in due time to get the finish I am striving for. The metaphor is the whole process from start to finish. Kathy Anderson stopped by and gave me a neck manipulation that is helping me to break the stiff pain that I have been experiencing. The headache has forced me to sleep in inappropriate positions that only worsens the process. Thank you Kathy for your healing hands and touch...tomorrow is another and better day.
I went to Michael's to check for something to use my 50% off coupon on but I realize I need Ken's big car to pick up a large canvas. Maybe on Saturday we can this project completed. I then picked up Maya and Sabrina and shared a thank you note from the director of the Columbus Museum of Art...Nannette thanked us all for the support and kind words during last week's TV interview for channel 10. It does feel good to be appreciated...I was surprised that she remembered me because I do not get to see her very often. The girls and I are ready for bed ; we have a full day tomorrow with completing our yellow troll Spring tees! We also want to finish our cards and Easter wrapping! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ferris Bueller's Day Off...

I am usually not on the computer until the end of the day but when I carried some "art stuff" down to Ken's man cave and sure enough one of the most disrespectful and outrageous movies from 1986 was on the TV for background noise while Ken was responding to his students emails. Before I knew it I was totally engrossed in a memory of me teaching at Whitehall and showing this movie...yes this movie to my 8th graders! I forgot yo preview the movie at then end of the year and every time I meet up with a student from this class of 86 we have a great laugh together. I guess that parents in Whitehall were not offended by anything in this classic movie that is often shown numerous times on regular TV stations throughout the year. Important lessons were shown in this artful??? movie like "Who do you really love?" Would your answer be things... or a special person we take for granted daily? Would it be security? Or do you have faith that there is a gentler guiding father holding us in his hands? We could all use a little Faith.
I am going out this afternoon to meet up with someone who has asked me to address an engagement soiree for their son and a dear young friend Anna Walker; who is getting married in July. The colors are champagne and soft gray and I can use my calligraphy inks and make a memory for everyone. I made a pendant in fused glass for Anna as a small gift and I have to say I think its delicacy and soft dichroic shimmers of soft colors is something I was really proud of. I need to stop by for another package of envelopes to show the mother of the groom and then I need to head home and attempt to photograph my newest calves down on Kelley Lane. No I have not seen our infamous barstool racer lately but he did give me inspiration for a silly little piece... just for me. Tomorrow the girls and I will begin the Easter rituals and make individual Bunny cards for special friends! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

have you ever ...?

Have you ever printed an email just so that you could hold another's words in your own hands and feel a energy... a force that you would hope you could see them again in the near future? Last night I had a long over due phone call to a very dear artist friend and we realize we have been sacred sisters for over 23 years. We have traveled though the good times with our families and hit the lowest of lows when the inevitable happens. I know how much this woman has given to me so as of today I began packing a new blue carry on suitcase for a trip to the land of the mountains and Sun...Tucson, Arizona. Even we are separated by miles and even time she is the golden friend who understands me as well as my dear husband Ken. She stimulates and encourages me to stretch way out of my comfort zone to be and do the best I possibly I can. I love this woman and we will soon have a renewal and serene time together. Funny, but we actually met when I volunteered for making Valentine's with children on a Saturday with the LCA back in 1986 at Indian Mound Shopping mall. I know she is the one friend that you have in a lifetime that will love me no matter what happens. She tells me when I am wrong and supports me when I face my fear and believes in me when I share my doubts. She also loves to play with a child like abandon engaged in total process.
Yesterday I went on an adventure at the Robbins Hunter Museum over in Granville and finally got to meet their director Ann in person face to face. For about 90 minutes we had a walking tour through this Greek Revival restoration and heard the stories of the families, the canals and the History of this unique landmark. The octagon room is a sacred space where one could get married, a little girl could celebrate a princess birthday or an artist might be inspired to sketch from a window's view. We had a High Tea with individual tea bags where we could fill and blend a flavor to enjoy blueberry scones with creamy clotted cream. My mind drifted back to my Tea with my students in Toowoomba and the culinary students honored me with their very best pastries and tea. It was a cold and blustery day but sitting in that long room I felt for a moment that I was a Lady in a billowing dress made from silks and taffeta. Hopefully we will see tour buses arriving in Licking county to seek and find this landmark from History's past. I had been in an art exhibit over twenty years ago but the collaboration and volunteers have done a beautiful job sparking an interest and renewal in this wonderful Greek revival home.
Tonight I had another jewelry class with Abby Rice and we designed our pieces with a gleeful approach... the truth is you always get a surprise when they come back after the kiln has fired them. I met some new women and one of the participants was in Marilyn Stocker's watercolor class and Janet and I had fun putting different design elements together. I also got my last four pieces back and I can't wait to share my "Brain surgeon" pin on my lapel. Wooo Hooo! Art truly saves lives! Stay toasty and warm tonight... there were snow flurries when I drove home. Imagine and live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Monday, April 6, 2009

Her is our video from our day at the Columbus Museum!!!

Imagine and Live in Peace!

Mary Helen

Sunday, April 5, 2009

a moment in time...knowing when you to pause...

Today ended up being a wee bit busier than I had planned but we made the rounds and reconnected with Don in his desire to "let go" in a smaller space, Ken continues gently downsizing and we delivered extra "childlike" bath towels and such to Tina and Ryan's as they prepare to get back to the school schedule. And finally wedding plans have now been made as I will have to miss the Art Walk this year because we will be down south in Charleston,SC for Amber and Mike's nuptials. I will continue to assist in the planning but there is always next year. April is blooming every where and the buds are popping through... that means we will probably get snow tonight. I checked on my disintegration project today and funny but it still looks the same to me. Of course, I did not open and examine my book but if we do get a little snow I want to made a photograph of the surrounding changes that are visible.
The metallic copper is quite beautiful to incorporate into my sky's composition. It is extremely fragile but with a slightly larger... yes I said larger stitch you can see the glimmer in the cloth. I have found some more mother of pearl embellishments to sew onto the images and I have completely sorted and separated into beautiful gift like packages. Touching mother of pearl is a cool and clean sensation that I have often taken for granted. I find it soothing and calming when I need to slow myself down and find a focus point for the mind's eye.
My friends from Ireland are coming to town for the Quilt Surface Design Symposium and we are making plans to do some barbeque's and Ohio side trips. For almost twenty years even with the distance we have managed to somehow stay connected. I am grateful for those artists who check in from time to time and not just to see how I am feeling. They want to share and know what I am working on and the possible collaborations continues. My friends in New Zealand understood better than I did when I could not get my collages to them in a timely manner...brain stuff, new babies and the loss of a friend. I am already working on backgrounds for next year's project and there is really no lost time or work...just an extension of process journeys. Entrepreneurs are always flexible and ready to go in a new direction. I hope you have had a profitable and productive weekend. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart Check out TOMS shoes where they sell a pair of shoes and then give a needy shoeless child a pair of new shoes for Free!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Gallery Hop or March madness?

Ken was lucky enough to get out to enjoy the warm Spring sunshine on the golf course and I stayed in bed with coffee, old movies and my new Quilting Arts magazine. Grandma was tired from her Spring Art Week Camp! I went out this afternoon in search of a fine metallic thread in copper to use in my embellishment in my hand quilting. A few years ago I had no trouble locating some very nice but fragile threads but today it can be a challenge. I did discover two different brands that I hope to work with tonight so I will keep you posted on if they are working. I went to see my Deborah at the Walmart beauty salon to get a short bob Erin and Tina and I have all chosen to lighten the load with a short bob. It feels great and will grow back before I realize it and with warm weather right around the corner I am going for comfort and coolness. I am such a "hot headed person" now with the titanium and platinum coils inside my brain. When it was cold you could witness this phenomenon by watching my heat waves radiating this past winter. I headed over to Hobby Lobby for a couple of small items and then did a small amount of shopping and picked up my medications before I made my way home. We are relaxing in tonight...I just could not bear to take Ken away from his basketball and I need to keep on working on my quilt. I have been contacted by a woman in Columbus to see some of my images of my quilts but I am waiting to see exactly what she is interested in. We did get a phone call from my past and telling me how she and her husband saw us at the Columbus Museum of Art. The girls are still dancing in the sun for their day at the museum. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Thursday, April 2, 2009

We were still up...

It was 11:20 and we were watching news on channel 10 with Andrea Cambern about "stay-cations" here in Ohio and YES you guessed it they had us on the late night news with a different perspective of what was filmed this afternoon at the Columbus Museum of Art. I should be on the travel board for Franklin county as well as Licking county because they shared my thoughts about the baby elephant at the Columbus Zoo and the upcoming collaboration with COSI and their Egyptian exhibit in May. I was surprised but Ken hopes they will repeat it once again tomorrow morning but I do kind of doubt it. Experience the Art and make a trip to see this exhibit at our CMA and COSI in the early summer months. Maya Rose told us on the drive home "Art is the only thing that they can never take away from you". I felt tears in my eyes because I know today was a memory she will have in her mind and heart when I am gone. Art Saves Lives! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

To live forever...Eygpt comes to the Columbus Museum of Art

This was our fourth day of Grandma's Art Week and we started out very early after breakfast. Maya and Sabrina began with a self portrait in pencil sketching and watercolor. Then we packed up our materials and sketch books to deliver my quilt to the Ohio Designer Craftsmen Museum for the Best of 2009. I feel so grateful and humbled to be part of this exhibit; one that I have neglected to enter in the last couple of years. The staff was busy beginning to pack up the wonderful and playful teapot exhibit. The girls were fascinated by all the different design elements in the closing day of the exhibit. But the biggest hit they enjoyed was the collection of enormous coffee cups... they assured me that one Big cup like this would get me through anything the day had to offer. Check out the pictures that Ken has added.
We then headed in anticipation to see the Columbus Museum of Art's "To Live Forever" Egyptian exhibit. We were all enthralled by the size of the artifacts and tried very heard to learn they metaphors and symbols used in their parchment and stone carvings. I may never get to the Pyramids but for a moment we were entering the funeral spaces of Kings and Queens. Someone was interviewing Nannette on camera and I thought it might be for educational uses. We continued our sketching of our favorite items and continued to move into the last two rooms. The last room had costumes and head pieces to wear and then be photographed in front of a very large photo background of the Pyramids. It sounds a little cheesy but I have to admit I loved dressing like a Nubian Queen. While we were changing into the second act when a TV reporter walked up and asked if she could interview us and how we felt about the CMA. Maya Rose made my heart proud when she began to express herself and her love of Art and making her own Art. Cara Connelly was the reporter and she and her team taped almost 10 minutes which was of course cut down to about 60 seconds! Who cares because we were all jazzed and excited about this unique engagement and our moment of exposure. We have a renewed membership where I can take 4 grand children to the museum any time we want. Summer here we come! The second part of this collaboration begins at COSI in May and we are already making plans to continue capturing our passport stamps and endorsements.
The final part of our day was a quick drive through at Culver's for hamburger specials for a very late lunch. Then we headed over to Erin's to rendezvous for a late afternoon of warm Spring play in Huber Park. toss and a variety of races in the breeze before they attacked the jungle gym and slides. I was a doting grandmother and enjoying some quiet time with Miss Morgan napping in her stroller. The final treat of the day was another trip to Culver's for waffle and cake ice cream cones, turtle sundae for Ken, vanilla cup for Cole and a large refreshing Iced Tea for me. Whew no wonder we all were sooooo tired! Have a great evening and find some time to reach out "time" with those you love. Be generous with your time for those you love. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart...aka Nefertiti of Newark!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April first 1990 until now...

I have just spent the last 90 minutes reconnecting with dear friends I met in 1990 and still making a bond that continues to grow in time. This week has been Art week at Grandma's and tomorrow I am headed over to Columbus to deliver a piece to the Best of Ohio 2009 and then off to the Columbus Museum of Art to sketch and soak up as much as possible the Egyptian Artifacts with Maya and Sabrina. They have been practicing in their very own sketch books... with different mediums and mark makings. They are pretty excited and so am I! Then we will have lunch and head over to Erin's to visit her little cubs and head to Blacklick for a Nature adventure. So far the weather has held out for us and even if there is a little inconvenience I doubt that I could convince them to do others. We have continued our Spring tees and are ready to add the final embellishments and tie dyed rick rack...their own choice. Friday we has the Works on our agenda and then bowling in the afternoon. Yes, I still have the headache but when I need to stop and completely stop Grandpa steps forward to help me until the meds sort of kick in to pain management. I want so badly to give them a week of my undivided attention and so far the mind and the heart are propelling me to do my most important artwork. Living, breathing and making art with those I love. Children never fail to amaze me with their inquisitive curious piercing eyes always on the search to add to my process... they are fascinated at my desire to recycle into a woman sculpture just for FUN! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart