What is Quartz Inversion?
No, it’s not a quart of milk standing on its head. It’s the point at which silica crystals in clay change their molecular structure during the rise and fall of temperatures in the kiln. Heat serves as a catalyst for permanent change. Very cool idea. I think of it as a metaphor for most things in life. The transformational power of art can change us at the very core. Our actions change the earth every day, for better or worse. The choices we make, the thoughts we have, and the words we say change us in every way at every moment--from the inside out. I like to think that I go through a quartz inversion on a regular basis....and once quartz inversion occurs, there is no going back.
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Friday, July 20, 2012

Getting back on my feet....

After another one of my long hiatus', I did a few small studies today. I've been home all week recovering from foot surgery and not surprisingly the theme running through these images are 'feet'. Hmmm, perhaps this is something I should expand upon for my upcoming show at Ceres Gallery in December......

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I recently spent several days in Greensboro, North Carolina where my dear friend Denise Murphy-Rohr presented her MFA thesis choreography to full houses and standing ovations. Her piece, entitled '146' is based on the 1911 fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York. I was honored to design the costumes for her 11 powerful and enthusiastic dancers.

The costumes were based on women's work clothes from the Edwardian Era, but abstracted and somewhat deconstructed, as Denise didn't want anything too literal or "dancey" looking. The result was spot on perfect and both Denise and I couldn't have been happier with the two performances. The dancers adapted to working in the cumbersome costumes with ease even having had only a week to work with them in rehearsal.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hello Dolly!....

My show was a great success and although I did not sell anything, I did get a commission from someone who wanted to immortalize their grandmother Dolly as a Christmas gift to her parents. Here's the finished piece. Apparently, it made everyone in the family cry....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Show is up...!

The show at the Ceres Gallery is up and looks great! Thanks to Nile for helping (ie: DOING) the installation, and to Virginia for hooking me up with this opportunity! More photos to come after the reception......

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I'm just about done preparing for the upcoming group show, 'EXPOSURE' at the Ceres Gallery. Not sure exactly which pieces will go in, but these are a few contenders. Having had to pull a show together in such a short amount of time was a great way to get me jump-started into my next body of work. Although I'm not 100% thrilled with every one of these pieces they did steer towards a new theme. One which I am excited about pursuing after the show comes down....

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sneak Preview....

I don't usually like to reveal pieces that I am about to exhibit, but I'm really happy with this new series so I'm breaking my own rule. These are a few small ones that are part of a larger series to be shown at the Ceres Gallery, December 12 to 16.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

And then, out of nowhere.........

Sometimes, good news is literally flung at you from out of the blue and you have no choice but to embrace it. This happened to me a few nights ago as I was laying in bed and the phone rang. It was my very good friend Virginia inviting me to participate in a group show this December at the Ceres Gallery in Chelsea. Of course I said yes, and I immediately started to conceptualize what I would show. Within the next several days I started work on a few test pieces, and these two little guys are a sample of the direction I'm headed in. These may or may not end up in the show, but I'm kind of leaning towards including them......

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hell's Kitchen.....

"Corradina Ruggeri Tandurella"

My Saturday morning did not start out well yesterday. I woke up on the wrong side of my fabulous, plush, Queen-size bed as seems to be my pattern lately, and then as usual the weekend train schedule was a mess. I was already running later than I had planned and the walk through the Theater District to my studio felt more tortuous than usual. Why are there so many tourists in New York and why do they walk so damn slow? URRGGHH.

A very cranky me finally made to the studio around 2:00pm. I ran a quick drop off of some costumes for Elena and by the time I was heading back to the studio it was already close to 3:00 in the afternoon. I figured it was more than late enough in the day to start drinking so I picked up a bottle of Pino Grigio and some Potato Leek soup for lunch and started to work. The combination of the soup, wine, and having the studio all to myself was the perfect antidote to the grueling morning and I actually got in a good 5 hours of productive work.

"Freaky Doll"

I got an evening visit from my friend Bradley which topped off the day nicely and it was the first time in weeks that I felt satisfied with my day. Being in a funk is no fun and lately I've been stuck in a low-grade malaise which I am finding it hard to get out of. The best thing to do when I'm feeling like that is to get to the studio and immerse myself in something productive. Not only does it keep my mind from pulling my emotions into a black hole, it's always a wake-up call that reminds me how lucky I am to have the life, friends, and resources that I have.


Monday, October 10, 2011

(It) Works on Paper.......

I still haven't figured out the whole inner dynamic that occurs when I work in a classroom setting that allows me to be less attached to the outcome and thereby results in a more open, free-flowing and daring work. There is a mental block of sorts, a certain trepidation that creeps into my studio work and causes me to work almost too carefully....too "neatly" shall we say. Being in class where there are no boundaries and no expectations, I just dive in a get dirty. It's been a long time since I worked that way. Probably not since my days in clay when I'd leave the studio covered head to toe in creative crud and feeling totally spent (yet elated) after an 8 hour studio shift.

Well, that is (almost) starting to happen again with these new collages on paper. Making a slight shift in materials always helps to boost my energy and sends a surge of new imagery through me and onto the paper/canvas/board. I find it's all about honoring your own individual process in the studio and not burdening oneself with expectations of what should or shouldn't happen. Expectation is the single worst enemy I can bring to the studio. It's just got to say goodbye at the door and let me play like a finger-painting 5 year old. And it's only then, when you lose track of time and space and you suddenly realize that hours have gone by without your even noticing it, that you have arrived back in kindergarten and you've created something so wonderful you just know that mom is going to hang it on the refrigerator door.......

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A long enough hiatus......

It's not uncommon for me to go several months between periods of creativity, so the fact that I haven't posted anything since April is no great surprise. I've come to accept the fact that I am an intermittently prolific person, someone who goes through alternating periods of creativity/productivity and rest/observation. It's during these periods that I spend more time engaged in other productive pass-times like sewing, rearranging my furniture, reading, and sometimes even cooking (although I admit that my version of cooking is heating up some already cooked thing from Trader Joe's).
Having said that, last weekend was my first real productive time spent in my new studio space (which by the way, I absolutely love). I can't say I'm thrilled with the outcome but I'm accustomed to the awkward "re-entry" period after being out of practice for some time.

I also dragged myself to my brothers drawing class on Tuesday night and I'm so glad I did. It's like going to the gym after being completely inactive ~ it's a great place to get back into the swing of "seeing" and flexing those drawing muscles. And of course, there is no better teacher on earth than my brother. Even after all these years I am still in awe of his talents as a teacher and the miracles he brings out in people. I tend to take more risks in the classroom setting and because my brother knows me so well, he can really push me to move away from my habit of 'staying safe'.

I did this drawing and then cropped it with my trusty iPhone camera. Because it's an exercise done in class, I'm not attached to the outcome, and because I'm not attached to the outcome, I usually walk away with a nice little surprise. I'm thinking this might end up in a new collage piece, which would be a new direction for me ~ less realistic imagery and more pure form. I think it will be a nice change.....

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Walk Through Gowanus....

I took a walk through the Gowanus Canal yesterday, from Park Slope to Columbia Street. It was an overcast, dreary day, but I knew I'd find some interesting things to shoot regardless of the grey light. I donned myself with my Argus 75, Nikon Coolpix, and of course my iPhone ~ just to make sure I had all my bases covered and could easily shoot on the fly.

Alternating between shooting Through the Viewfinder (TtV) and Hipstamatic I wandered down Union towards Columbia Street. There are good things about each way of shooting. TtV allows you to get candid shots of people who don't realize you are taking their picture. Since you are looking down at some weird contraption that bares no resemblance to a modern day camera people just assume you are weird. On the other hand, the nice thing about the iPhone is you can shoot quickly and candidly without taking time to focus or compose your image and you get to see the results immediately, not to mention that the variety of effects are endless.

I took over 100 pics and couldn't wait to get home to compare the results. Is it even worth taking TtV pics when the iPhone has so many great applications that give you as good or better effects? Well, yes, and no. Although you get a variety of effects with the iPhone the pictures taken TtV are more subtle and have that "old film" look to them. You can't really get that with an iPhone. Also, there's something about shooting with an actual "camera" that makes you feel like you are really taking a picture. Those of you who are too young to remember what an actual camera is will have to take my word for this. There was something so magical about lugging around a clunky, large, heavy device, and then waiting to develop the shots, that we just don't experience anymore. Instant gratification is nice, but that element of surprise is totally gone. Although you don't have to wait very long to see your results with TtV photography, you do have to upload the shots to your computer, crop the images and sometimes do a bit of color editing to get the final image.

In either case, both ways of shooting are so damn easy it almost feels like cheating to take credit for a good shot. I don't think I'll ever graduate to using a DSLR with all it's complicated buttons and long user manuals. The only thing that matters to me is the final result and for now I'm totally happy with my uncomplicated cheater's photography.....

For those of you who are curious:
#1 - Hipstamatic
#2 - TtV
#3 - TtV
#4 - TtV
#5 - Hipstamatic
#6 - Hipstamatic

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Simplest Thing.....

Sometimes, the simplest thing catches my eye and I become transfixed by it's mundane beauty. I want to look at it over and over and over again, as if I could burn it's image into my minds eye and have it there to look at any time I wanted. There is a strange sense of contentment that comes over me, and I feel completely satiated, satisfied, and oddly awe-struck, as though I came to know the reason for my existence in a single glance. I call these my "American Beauty, paper bag in the wind" moments. Those of you who have seen the film and have had this experience will know exactly what I mean.

This happened the other day on the Lower East Side of Manhattan when, assisting a friend with a costume fitting for a group of High School dance students, I looked up and saw the most amazing group of light fixtures hanging in the dark school auditorium around 60 feet above my head. I grabbed my camera and I took around 20 shots, just to make sure I captured the image at several subtly different angles.

Upon coming home, I quickly transferred the images to my computer and spent the next several hours playing with the exposures, rotating the images, and just basking in the pleasure of looking at them over and over and over.....but only until the next "paper bag in the wind" blows past me.....

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Through the Viewfinder......

I've been wanting to learn how to take pics "through the viewfinder" and today I figured it out. I knew it required an old box camera and this morning while looking on ebay for one I could afford, I suddenly remembered that I had my dad's old Argus 75 Twin Lens Reflex stored away somewhere. I dug it out and rigged up a very rudimentary contraption for keeping the light out of the viewfinder, grabbed my Nikon Coopix 'point & shoot', and headed for the park. It worked pretty well and these are some of the first successful shots. Next step is to build a better light blocker and rig up a way to keep the digital attached to the box camera in a secure position for more 'on the fly' shooting.

After taking some test shots indoors I ventured outside to give it a try. It was a bit challenging to figure out the correct distance from the bottom camera lens to hold my point and shoot Coolpix, but once I figured it out, I got some acceptable shots.

When I came home, I couldn't resist playing around with some of my iPhone apps and seeing how the effects would looked laid over the TTV pics. I think once I get the hang of working the two cameras together I won't need to rely on any apps to get some great effects.

.....Definitely taking the Argus 75 on the next road trip.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A day in the country......

Yesterday, I spent a day wandering around Ulster County snapping away on my iPhone. The locations and weather gave the day a very "Twin Peaks" feeling to it and when we happened upon an abandoned string of train cars I thought I had died and went to David Lynch Heaven. Since I've been doing more photography than painting or collage-making lately, I seized the opportunity to shoot every square inch of the lonely cabooses. And I had two inspiring and very willing subjects with me, just itching to throw themselves in front of my lens and ham it up.

This abandoned train must have been a first class vehicle in it's day because it had a complete kitchen and was wider and longer than any modern day train I'd ever been on. With a little renovation, I could have easily lived on it a la Ruth Gordon in "Harold and Maude".

Baxter and James were only too willing to incorporate themselves into the surroundings at every turn. The fact that the floor had gaping holes in it and looked on the verge of collapsing, didn't stop James from dancing up and down the isles.
Earlier in the day an old stone house and a barn in a field caught my eye and the boys were more than happy to offer their likenesses to each shot. The only opportunity missed was getting a picture of the incredible wrinkley deaf proprietor of the antique shop that was housed in the stone building. Her face was a like a road map to every day she lived in her 80-something years....

The day started with a disappointing lunch in the town of New Paltz followed by a jaunt through the local antique markets where I picked up a few goodies to add to my burgeoning collection of trinkets from times gone by. My one regret was not buying the little tin type photo with the wonderful back side that was way more interesting than the image on the front.