Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hairspray!!! 1962 Baltimore and the Corny Collins dance studio ....

Dude looks like a lady!!!...Good Morning Baltimore!...Miss Baltimore Crabs... guess where I was tonight??? Weathervane Playhouse Theater's production of Hairspray! It is 1962 and I was 12 years old and used to watch the Dick Clark after school dance party. The music and the clothing and the segregation issues seem to unfold right in front of my eyes and I felt my heart open with the memories of the dance music playing off Mom's kitchen radio while I did the dishes. It was a hot humid summer in Louisville, KY and the racial tensions were so confusing to my naive heart. I just could not get my little brain around what was the big deal and the music out of Detroit was ...well totally mesmerizing. The young actress who played Tracy Turnblad was so vivacious and thrilling to watch and listen to as she expressed passionately her love for the Art of the theater. Corny Collins was a dear young man who is incredibly talented ...Brice Corder a star who I have watched grow up was so corny in his red toupee that I could not help but beam with Pride for his wonderful talented little self. Edna was played by Dennis Kohler and he just makes me smile when I remember his curvaciously feminine body ( I am not sure this is a word?) plumped up body is a real professional. Dennis fell when he was beginning his number and the stage stood poised while the doctor in the house ...yes we have a wonderful couple of doctors in the house...took care of his bumps and bruises and he returned to the stage to sing his number...a real pro. The second act is complete with numbers like Cooties...Without Love...I know Where I have been... You Can't Stop the Beat...this is when the cast came off the stage and up into the audience to dance with the theater patrons. You know I had to get up and do the Monkey with a young promising actor who thanked me for dancing with him and I thanked him for dancing with me a Grandma :O)!!! My words cannot express the fun I had tonight...I sit in the middle of the front row of the stage...Life does not get better!!! I felt my dear friend's presence tonight...I felt Matthew in the room...I felt his pride in his witnessing the exceptional performance they were delivering tonight. I feel Matthew guiding me as I move into the realization of my vision to have my own studio in a visible location in my community's downtown. Today I wrote my first month's rent and paid the lawyer for the limited liability corporation legalities ...I had my big girl panties on and I felt a sense of pride and responsibility when I walked out the door.

I renewed my friendship with my painter /photographer extraordinaire Priscilla Rink... she came down to see my exhibit in the last days and we will make plans to have a lunch date down at the studio and hopefully get her back to making her magical images. Priscilla is a champion and I look forward to having her back in my life and Talk and Make ART!

Now I am suddenly very tired but my spirit is renewed from a live performance with energetic powerful young actors living their dream. I did have a moment of sadness when I witness a couple walking along the winding road searching for aluminum cans. The economy is very rough here in my little part of the world...somehow I am searching for a way to share my passion for making sacred marks in my artworks and hopefully find a way to change the world for others who are less fortunate than myself. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I feel as if I am running on one of those hamster rings....

I left around 11:00 and went to collect a new broom and yardstick for the studio, a few more green plastic dividers and a utensil divider to use for specialty pencils and brushes plus a wooden dish rack to employ as a small as a small print display unit. I picked up a few good buys at Kohl's...summer cotton tops and some metal jewelery to take apart to use in a mixed media work. I ended up eating at Burger King and did not get down to the studio in time to really work...Ken and I were both hot and out of sinc and to say we both needed to go home and rest is putting it mildly.

I came home and spent some exploration time on my blogs and discovered a project called "Comfort Doll Project" where we make small portable dolls for children who are victims of domestic violence. Then I met and respected immediately Renate Hiller on her you-tube video made in her fiber craft studio. Renate began to express her understanding of how humans need to make and create with their hands...a spiral cosmic creation...from the spinning of the yarns to the design and creation of a hand knit work. She speaks as a poet in her expression and dedication to all artists who make their art and connect us in a community where diversity is revered. My last delightful gift was discovering Art by Nigea artist who lives in Paris, France. Her blog is... French... Il' etait une fois toi mon chien.... NigeArt ...Nigea has wonderful photographs with the children posed in endearing positions with their dogs. I suppose someone might find them sentimental but for me I was immediately transported back to when I was twelve years old. I had a wonderful companion, my Cocker Spaniel "Lady" and she went every where I went and we were totally devoted to one another. I could bury my face into her silky fur when I was feeling low and she always understood and looked up at me adoringly as if to will all be okay! I am seeing a theme of recognizing ...loss, understanding value, and commitment to an emotional design in works that communicate my values and love of animals.

I revisited my friend's post "albedo" by a Canadian artist name Arlee Barr. Some you are already familiar with her works but today she was working an experiment working with a resist and fiber reactive dyes and acrylic metallic paints. I am totally unfamiliar with this resist but the effects she achieved on a small piece of cloth were magical ...I wanted to cut and reassemble in a totally new formation just by looking at her steps in the process. Brave!!! New Works will come from this play experience.

I think just visiting my blogs in my circle...I found a peaceful renewal of my spirit. Now I am going to sleep and begin anew tomorrow. Sweet Dreams! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 light stalker is home from Chile...

I went down to work in the studio and to give one more gallery talk in my "Whispers and Echoes of Women's Work" in the Art Works Gallery. It was a small, intimate group and their questions never fail to open up a dialogue about how my work comes into a Life of its own. It never fails to amaze me that I reveal so much more of myself when I share my created works. Ken and I went back to work for another couple of takes more time to set up than I was realizing...I am anxious to work with my hands once again in my sanctuary.

Jessica Phellps is an amazing young positive light in our Universe. She just returned from Santiago, Chile for a residency with orphans where she documents poetically their lives and aspirations. The government runs the institutions in Chile and there are gaping holes in the care and vision for these lost but loving children. My heart wept for all of them when Jessica described her departure about ten days ago. I decided then to exhibit these small works of the children in the studio in November /December where she will receive half of the money for herself and the other half will be donated back to this is no way to run a business...I realize that but Jessica will be making changes in the child at a time! She went afterward to for a job interview and she got the job working with the YES kids starting on Thursday. Everyone wins ...Jessica will make a bit of money for her next journalism chapter and the students at risk will meet a loving gracious heart and role model.

I am still very tired so I will keep this short. I hope you enjoy the photos. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday and my stomache is black and blue from my injections...very odd to look at from my point of view....

I was a little shaky this morning but I went over to Tina's to watch the girls for her day in the office. I am afraid she is leaving this job that offers her so much freedom in taking the three girls to school and afternoon activities. I am trying to be supportive but I know how difficult it is to find a job in Ohio today....most jobs are part time without benefits or service positions that offer very little chance for promotion. I told Tina we will make it work but I know how difficult it is to make ends meet and be home every day without assistance. Maya, Sabrina and Hannah are magical girls with boundless energy that will love having their mother Full time... which is how all mothers work anyway.

We went down to the studio and met with Ken for a pizza lunch and a visit with Mrs. Doyle...Maya's first grade teacher from North Elementary. My friend from Australia stopped by to say goodbye before she heads back home to the Gold Coast. She has finished her doctorate at Ohio University and we hope to be able to have her and the Roberts over for a dinner before she departs on 8/13/10. They asked for photos when I get the set up in the studio completed...Ken has been busy putting two tall shelf units today and tomorrow I will continue to sort the multitude of materials we have already moved down. Slowly slowly slowly each day is progressing and I am getting excited to actually move in with my work table. Michelle Channel brought in some of her drawing exercises and I think you can see the sensitivity in her pencil marks...she is beginning perspective work and that is always a challenge for myself. I look forward to seeing her once I am settled down in the studio. I am very tired and I hope you enjoy the glow of the moonlight dancing on our tree tops. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Sunday, July 25, 2010

a quiet produce...and my travel magazines....

Full Moon or Thunder Moon...Big Buck Moon....

I spent the morning resting in bed with my cup of coffee and CBS Morning Show..they may have been reruns most likely but it is always a relaxing way to bring in a new worship of St. Mary's of the Bed springs... a little disrespectful but quiet refection is good for the soul. Ken and I had watched a movie "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" and the story is so powerful and an emotional highway to remember the importance of knowing our History. The little Jewish and one the son of a German soldier...weave a story of unlikely friendship and compassion for each other and their predicament. Ken had ordered this movie from Netflix and I think I would like to watch it once again...the complexities of secrets in families and governments reminded me of my flawed acceptance back in the 1960's. Each character's development and unique voice documents the events in Germany in the 1940' will make you ask what is your truth? Questions are necessary for a trusting relationship ....even when they are the most difficult of the questions and the answers are not what we would have expected or wanted. Has anyone else heard or seen this movie? I would love some feedback if you are willing.

I did the grocery shopping with Ken and we had a pretty efficient and cost prohibitive receipt at the end of the total tally. On the way out Ken noticed two 75% off shelving units with doors ...and he went back after dinner to purchase them. I love this magnificent man...we could not make them for that cheap and they will serve their purpose. We think we have the design area worked out and hopefully plenty of storage to keep materials and supplies hidden when they are not in use. Tomorrow we will work on putting them together and I will take photos and post as the studio comes together. I have the three girls tomorrow morning from 8:30 am because their mother has been called into the office so we will plan a pizza lunch at the Grill and I will give them a small tour of the studio...they are very excited and cannot wait until I get it set up and they will be able to come in for making ART! After lunch I am hoping the girls and I will be able to see Ramona and Beezus...the movie. I have snacks and blow pops to help cut costs so I have to remember to put them in a separate bag... the tickets costs a small fortune by themselves.

This morning I tried to sneak up on my triplets...the tiny deer were eating my flowers and when I opened the door off they scampered...they are so beautiful. I will keep trying to capture them with my camera but right now their skinny little toothpick of legs are much faster than mine, I hope you all have had a relaxing weekend. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Time to hit the water...

Ken went over to let Erin get a nap while Morgan was down and he and Cole had a man's afternoon...Grandpa we are out of fudge....Grandpa those Rice Crispie Treats were sure good. I searched for my swimsuit...first time out this summer...Yikes I am white :O)! I guess in the move somehow the silver bag has been moved somewhere...real good...national security hidden by Mr. Ken. I ran to Kohl's and picked one up without trying it on and on sale for half price. Rushed to the pool to the sounds of "Grandma" and changed in the dressing room with Miss Hannah's assistance. I swam with three little mermaids from 4:00 to 5:15 pm...which was more than enough Sun for me...the water felt great and they all had to show me what they learned at the ocean this summer. We had a black lab named Brutus who lives next door and is a regular member of the private pool join us for cool romps and snacks by the pool. I hope you enjoy the few photos...last night I was a little carried away but I wanted to make sure everyone in the workshop had their photos up on the blog...they are now my facebook friends.

Ken put together a simple ad for the Licking County Arts 2010 catalogue and we adjusted just a few things and sent it out to the Universe. I think Ken is getting to be very proficient with the graphic skills on the computer. Thank you Mr. Ken. Find a cool place to read or watch a movie this weekend...the storms are moving in our area and hopefully the humidity will break soon. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Friday, July 23, 2010

my life flows when I am making art with children....

Today was the last day of my CSI fabric forensic investigation workshop with some very spectacular children who have blessed my life for the last five days. My Hayley, Ann and volunteers worked diligently... individually with each child's week's work to mount for a special celebration with their parents. The students created their very own scratch art page....color with crayons and then paint the page with black tempera paint and then scratch their very own designs. I enjoyed witnessing their selections of colors and designs but with a little conversation I knew instantly what direction each person's mark making would lead their viewer. I know a few artists that would love to work with total abandonment and joy as they create. Ken brought in special Popsicles for the afternoon in delicious fruity was 94 degrees this afternoon and the air conditioning unit struggled to keep and maintain a cool room. "Your husband sure is very tall!" and he became an instant hit with the kids :O)! As the parents filed into the room they pulled their mothers, fathers, and grand parents and siblings throughout the room sharing their work for the week...I was beaming with pride just seeing their excitement and acknowledgment of their individual progress. I am tired from the heat but they will leave footprints on my heart . My life truly flows when I am working with children and witnessing unbridled glee while they make their sacred marks. Have a great weekend! Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart