Monday, April 28, 2008

One more inspiring link!

This link is for a group of performance artists in NYC who are doing amazing work, creating community and good feelings through performance art, causing scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere has "executed over 70 missions involving thousands of undercover agents." Take a look at this video and then check their YouTube site and their regular site.
(I wonder if I could start up a branch in Prospect, Nova Scotia.)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Links and inspiration

“Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand.” - Emily Kimbrough

Here are some new links for everyone ranging from the autism spectrum and psychology to art therapy to arts and crafts. Have fun. I sure enjoyed collecting them!

Autism Spectrum -

Nicole Brandstrup sent me this link for Stephen Wiltshire's (an amazing autistic man, once again thank you Nicole!) very literal art work, a drawing of Rome after one trip in a helicopter.
I went to YouTube to see what else might be there and he has ten videos of his amazing drawing. Do take a look.
While looking at Stephen Wiltshire's work I found two other interesting Autism sites.

IAN, the Interactive Autism Network, is an innovative online project designed to accelerate the pace of autism research by linking researchers and families. If you have a child within the Autism Spectrum or if you work with this population, you can become part of IAN's online community to stay informed about autism research, provide feedback, and be heard. has a lot of video's on this topic as well.

Psychology -

Cognitive Daily has a lot of very interesting research, for example a test for your ability to recognize real smiles based on the research of Paul Ekman or how a gift of flowers can release more endorphins and for longer that a gift of fruit or candles. (No one checked on chocolate. I guess the reason for that would be the funding source for this research?!) Lots of interesting material here!

Brain Blogger
sponsors something called Blog Carnivals, where they collect links pointing to blog articles on a particular topic, and like a magazine, they have a title, a topic, editors, contributors, and an audience. Brain Blogger has two Carnivals, one on the brain and one on drugs and pharmacology. Great sources for current research and links here.

Art Therapy and Psychology Blogs -

Cathy Malchiodi's "The Healing Arts" which is part of the Psychology Today blogs:
A lot of interesting material there!

Art Links-

Hanne Matthiesen is a Danish book artist, crafts person who writes in English here: You can also see her work in the current Somerset Memories and Somerset Workshop.

Never Forgotten is an art book on grieving, looks like it might be good, lots of art and lots of quotes. It was created originally for a friend, JoAnnA Pierotti, who had suddenly lost her mother. 68 artists from all over the world provided artistic images and financial contributions in order to create an art volume which would express their sympathy, concern, and support for JoAnnA. What a lovely example of Art As Gift!

April/May FiberArts focuses on Paper, lots of wonderful ideas here! Top of my list is the article on Jiyoung Chung's Joomchi, by Akiko Kotani with Bernard Freyberg. You'll learn a lot about the traditional technique for “felting” handmade paper and the paper is beautiful.
Image from the NAHCOTTA website.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mental Detox week - April 21-27

Here's a video of kids watching TV by Godfrey Reggio, director of Koyaanisqatsi.
A person doesn’t need to say much more than that! But there IS more if you look on Adbusters!

What touched me was the "Ideas" section. There are some triumphant stories there and also a lot of sadness with the realization that we generally spend so much time in a virtual world without much real contact with others and with the More-Than-Human environment.

Robert from San Jose is a high school teacher. He encouraged all of his classes to participate in Mental Detox week with him. At least fifty of his students cut back, at least by half, the average twelve hours a day they spend online, watching TV, texting, playing video games, or listening to their i-Pod. So what were students doing with their now free time? They played with their younger siblings, went to (and really noticed) their local parks, finished all of their homework, and, most importantly, got some sleep. [are kids today sleep deprived? That could be a problem.] Every student who participated said that this experience changed their lives [and the week isn't over yet] and the way they see their world.
"The most memorable moment came on the 21st when a student shared that normally he wears his headphones as he travel between classes during the passing period. On that day, he did not, and he was surprised at how many people said hello to him or asked how he was doing. Hopefully, come Monday, the students will not fall back into their old habits and remember their experiences."
Robert, San Jose

Also for ideas about unplugging your kids there's this blog:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Jen's Challenge

While I was away at ArtFest and in NY and NJ, I was not able to get on line too much. In fact very little. However, what I noticed was I was way more productive, lots more art was happening, which of course always feels most excellent. So this picture is from a challenge for Jen Worden who lives down the road from me here in Nova Scotia and who I met up with at ArtFest! (That was a bit of a mind boggle, sitting in Michael DeMeng's class with Jen, both of us coming from the other side of the continent!!!) So the challenge was to find three words in "today's newspaper" or junk mail. First I found 3 words, "create" "fabulous" and "art" and then I got to work with some paper and an image of an older sister holding her younger sister. Soon I was finding my words too large for the imagery, so I got a new piece of junk mail and found more that 3 words, but they fit in a kind of tryptic frame and I thought fair enough. I'm never too great with directions and the process is the thing anyway, so this is the result "Bringing contemplative art to life."

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The (Red) Passion Book, an altered book for 14 Secrets.

Had fun today with this altered book! It's for a 14 Secrets round robin, on True Colors and my color is RED! So of course I think PASSION!!!

This is the inside cover and Artists' sign in page. What is your passion?
Red is also a very good color from my childhood in Taiwan, so I think my spread should be about that in someway. So here it is with a little envelope holding a red paper lantern (something we all had as kids in Taiwan)...

And here's the envelope lifted up so you can see the page under it.
And finally here's the inside of the back page:

And here's the quote from the back page.

"...great art is not a matter of a few virtuosi of the first rank. It is the result of the labours of thousands of faithful craftsmen who know that they are doomed to remain for ever outside the gates of the Paradise of Perfection, but who nevertheless will give the very best there is in them because the work they do means more to them than anything else in this world. They are the real tillers of the soil." -Hendrick Willem Van Loon

This book goes out into the mail system Monday. I hope it travels easily and passionately to all the participating artists.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

An idea worth sharing!

Coming down from the trips to Seattle and NYC, and I'm finding Eckhart Tolle & Oprah's class, A New Earth, to be extremely helpful. I'm just loving the inner space and quiet that the class is creating. As I watched last Monday's class later in the week, I kept wondering why I felt dizzy and spacious all at the same time. Then I found this video clip of Jill Bolte sharing her stroke experience and knowledge of brain function from TedTalks which gave me an understanding about how the brain works and why the course is making me feel this spaciousness, inner silence, and how the course helps me be here now. So Eckhart and Oprah, I'm really enjoying your class, and I think Jill Bolte's clip explains how A New Earth is helping me step into the right hemisphere of the brain.

Jill Bolte said
"I picture a world filled with beautiful, peaceful, compassionate, loving people who knew that they could come to this space at any time. And that they could purposely choose to step to the right of their left hemispheres and find this peace. And then I realized what a tremendous gift this experience could be, what a stroke of insight this could be to how we live our lives. And it motivated my to recover."

From the workbook for the class, A New Earth:
This week, make a conscious effort to enjoy simple things, to be alone without filling the space with stimulus or to open your heart to whomever you meet. Be aware of a space opening up in you. Can you describe the subtle feelings that arise?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Returned from ArtFest and heading down to NYC

Here I am with my ArtFest/LifeLongBuddies in Seattle. From left to right; Kim, Julie, Ellen, and me. (I snagged this photo from Julie.)
Here we are at the market, riding the bronze piggy. The laughter started Seattle and didn't stop until Julie dropped me off at the airport but even now I find myself chuckling over our antics. (I snagged this photo from Kim.)
The first night at ArtFest is like a feeding frenzy with trades. Hilarious good fun looking at what everyone brought and trading fast and furiously. (I snagged this photo from Kim and in this picture you can see Kim, Ellen, and Cyn) Right about at this point I lost track of my trade bag and think a couple of necklaces I had made for Carol and Lore went missing. I reckon someone thought they were trades. Alas for Carol and Lore.

I took some pictures in Nina's class, Gatherings. Oh, what a wonderful idea for shadow box books!!!
More photos from this class, the DeMeng class and from the Gallery night in my Mac album. I will be writing a bit more about the class. One of my favorite bloggers was in it and I would love to write a bit about what I learned from Judy. I need to write a bit more about Michael DeMeng's class as well as LK Ludwig. I can't believe how much I learned, how much you can do with a little bit of caulking, acrylic paints and the willingness to experiment. Lovely! I also had a wonderful little chat with Teesha Moore and I need to write out a little about that as well. So I promise to come back to this really soon.

Now I must go pack for NYC where I read that there will be rain and more rain. Oh, well, never mind, I'll be teaching most of the time.

More later.