Posts Tagged ‘art’

My Own Two Hands.

August 21, 2010

Two or so months ago, I decided to try sculpting.  I bought a block of clay and some sculpting tools and dug in… literally. I had no idea what I was doing  and began by trying to carve things with those tools.  It didn’t take me long to figure out that I actually had to pick up the clay and mold it with my hands rather than carving it with metal toothpick-like things.  And it worked.  I started forming the clay into a figure and just let my mind – and more importantly my hands – go from there.  What happened was kind of amazing for me.  I started forming a figure that seemed to speak directly to things I was feeling – both good and bad – emotionally.  And it happened with the second figure too.  And so, I realized, that I had found a new therapeutic tool.

Sculptures 1 & 2:

About a week ago, my therapist (hereafter referred to as “T”) began talking with me about the importance of holding onto the image of light inside of me when we discussing things that made me feel uncomfortable physically.  This really resonated with me because of work I’d done in the past with imagery related to light.  It kind of jogged my memory in a way and I decided two weekends ago that I needed to do art related to this light to help me remember it moving forward.  That weekend was really interesting because, when I awoke early on Saturday morning, my living room was full of amazing amber-tinted light.  I went outside with my camera and fell in love with where I live all over again.  I sat outside for about an hour and breathed in the light and the fresh air of the morning – the perfect way to begin my light-filled weekend.  This is one of the pictures I captured at about 6:15 that morning:

That morning I also finished a painting I’d started the night before for my bedroom.  I’m in the midst of decorating it. It’s all very natural, ivory tones except for some orange/yellow accents here and there.  I had a huge wall with nothing on it, so I wanted to do a painting and decided that the “light” theme would be a good one to go with.  Here’s what I came up with – different than what I usually do but I’m happy with how it turned out.

Now, back to the sculpting topic:  The weekend that I did the two pieces above, I also started my third sculpture.  I wasn’t sure how I could capture the idea of light through that medium but I decided to try.  I’ve always been drawn to images related to the moon and, to a lesser extent, the sun.  And I’m very interested in energy.  With my past therapist(s), my fabulous energy worker in DC, and on some level T, I’ve talked about the importance of letting energy and life back into the area around my abdomen.  It’s supposedly a very important healing center of the body that I had purposefully ignored for about 25 years (oops).  So, I decided to focus my sculpting on a piece related to that.  She took me longer than the first two pieces and is a little larger than they are – she is probably six or seven inches tall including the “moon” she’s holding.  I ventured out and decided to try imbedding beads into this piece also, and, much to my surprise and delight, it seems to have worked!  Finished last night…  Here she is:

And a detail shot that shows the beading better:



July 5, 2009

I wrote a while back that I’d learned to crochet but haven’t posted any pics yet for some reason.  I just finished my fourth blanket since learning in March.  This one is for Anna who will turn one on July 13 (I have no idea how she’s that old already).  After I finished it, I decided I would do a mini version for her doll, Bernadette… or a travel-size one for Anna (whichever way she prefers to use it).    So you can get a visual, here is a (old) pic of Anna (with Bernadette, of course). 

anna and bernadette



Have you ever seen such amazing eyes?





And, here are their blankets…

Anna Bday Quilts

Beautifully Misshapen

August 17, 2008

Sometimes when I’m doing art, I gain a level of personal understanding and am almost always very grateful for those moments.  That happened to me last weekend.  I had been working on drawing a dancing figure.  I always make my figures fairly substantial in size but was fussing over how to make her body more perfectly shaped.  Then my perspective shifted a bit and I realized that, if I were to paint a “perfectly” shapen body, I’d really be doing a disservice to every woman.  So, I left her as she was and, in the process, seemed to gain a new bit of acceptance for my own body. 

Then, I had a really great experience on Thursday that nicely followed my artistic “ah ha.”  This week/weekend was the APA Annual Convention in Boston.  I’ve worked at APA for about 2.5 years but hadn’t attended the convention yet; this year I submitted a proposal for an eating disorders symposium that was accepted.  On Thursday, I chaired the panel and had several incredible psychologists presenting:  Margo Maine, Michael Levine, Ruth Striegel-Moore, Steve Wonderlich, and Margarita Alegria.  It was very well attended and I’ve received very positive feedback from attendees.  It was such an honor for me to participate in this with individuals who I’ve admired for so long and whose work in the field of eating disorders has helped me understand my own struggles better.  I feel strongly that they made a real difference with their presentations, and I am so appreciative that they travelled to Boston to join me.  I feel even more committed to continue doing eating disorders policy work and feel confident that we’re slowly but surely making really meaningful strides that will ultimately help many individuals and families. 

So, in honor of those women who might feel less than “enough” but are beautiful in all the ways that matter – here is my most recent painting, Beautifully Misshapen.

It’s difficult to tell but, along with the beads along the bottom, there are several tiny swarovsky crystals above and around the figure, including one in each hand.  Here’s a detail that shows that a little better:

Also, I’ll share a poem that I wrote a while ago but haven’t posted yet.  It seems appropriate here, I think.

On a cool patch of earth
I curl into myself
Beginning anew
Vowing to accept my body this time
And to return often to this land that nurtures me
Holds me in her wide palm
Cradling me
Whispering to me…
     Your body reflects my own contours
     Curves that mirror
     Rolling hills and grand mountains
     Dipping into valleys, canyons, crevices
     Breathtaking and more exotic than flat lands and prairies.

As I finish this and notice the date on the top of the entry, I realize that today is exactly 7 years since I left eating disorders treatment in Iowa.  Interesting…


July 21, 2008

I finished a drawing project and just had it framed.  On September 13, the Andrea’s Voice Foundation will have a fundraiser and I’m donating this for a raffle prize. 


December 29, 2007

And from another New York trip…  I travel to Syracuse more than anywhere else and love going there.  Somehow, I end up there several times each winter which makes no good sense at all.  However, while I’m there, my friends feel like family, and I pretend that I’m home…  It’s nice.  I was there for a long weekend in mid-November to work on a project for Ophelia’s Place and had the opportunity to photograph Parker and Ian.  Parker (13ish) and Ian (6ish) are awesome brothers – the sons of my friend Lori.  Lori happened to be making a video about people and their passions for an upcoming conference.  So, she videotaped me while I took pictures (with her nice new camera) of her boys.  And, the pictures turned out pretty well.  Here are a few of my favorites:

My very favorite (Ian on the Left; Parker on the Right)

And now for Ian – with his very cool drum sticks and sweat bands (possibly karate chopping, I don’t really remember) prior to the main “photo session”…


December 18, 2007

I’m starting this blog in the hopes that it will encourage me to take more photographs and to share them more often than I usually do.  Just to bring people up to date on me, I’m working in DC and love my job (especially since I was promoted in October).  My 9 – 5 (or 6 or 7) job has nothing to do with art, but I try to keep my creative juices flowing on the weekends and evenings.  On occassion, I do portraiture still.  People always have been and always will be my favorite subject to photograph.  Hopefully, I’ll have the opporutunity to do more – and I’ll share some of my favorites with you all here.  For those of you who haven’t seen my work since years ago in Arkansas or since my college days at Scripps, here’s an example of some of my more recent work.  I believe all of these were taken over the past year and a half.  Let me know what you think!

Please note… all of these images are copyrighted – please do not use without permission.

November 2007…

Same family, April 2007…

Trip to Liverpool, NY (other photos at, February 2007…

Trip to Napa, CA, October 2006…

San Diego wedding, June 2006 (can’t wait to photograph Clay & Erin’s wedding in ’09!)