Announcing “Durga Art Collective” Gallery Show

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I am delighted to be part of the DURGA ART COLLECTIVE’s weekend show the end of May at Live Worms Gallery in North Beach, San Francisco!  It will be a gathering of local artists brought together in this collective by artist Ameena Hartung, and  includes visionary paintings by my daughter Kate Langlois, amazing photography from her husband, Jaya Bhat, paintings by his brother Krishna Bhat as well as talented fellow artists from the San Francisco Bay area.

 

If you are in the area, I invite you to stop by for a visit and see the creativity of all the wonderful artists in this show!

DURGA ART COLLECTIVE

at LIVE WORMS GALLERY

1345 Grant (between Green & Vallejo), San Francisco

Friday, May 30 through Sunday June 1, 2014

OPENING RECEPTION: 7-11 pm  Friday, May 30th

Gallery Hours:  11 am – 11pm Friday,  11 an – 10 pm Sat & Sun

FEATURING THE WORK OF:

Krishna Bhat
Mieze Steinburg
Ameena Hartung
Pierre Shamel
Maria Doglio
Jason Steinberg
Liza Brown
Annette Wagner
Jaya Bhat
Francky Sahmel

For Information, please call (415) 552-7383
www.sflivewormsgallery.com/

 

 

LATE SUNDAY MORNING MUSING

Art and Expression In Life is All Around

I left the house askew, needing dusting, the floors unswept, sewing and art projects scattered in almost every room unfinished or poised with ideas waiting to blossom into form from my imagination.

The sky outside was threatening, but I wanted to walk.  I took the umbrella, just in case, setting off for the local coffee shop, dropping letters into a mail box along the way.  I headed past the now famous and controversial “Listener”, a giant naked green lady, her gaze serenely intent on the heavens.  She is oblivious to her nakedness and all that find her “distasteful” – she is herself, a unique expression of life’s essence and the artist who created her.

I decide to sit at a table outside under a red umbrella.  It occurs to me that the color red is showing up a lot  in my life lately.  The boldness of red.  Courage.  Fearlessly moving forward.  All of these is the subtle message being given to me within the color red.  Just what I need now on my journey to embody more fully, the integration of art in my life!

I sit sipping latte from a yellow cup and saucer, observing colors all around me.

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Latte Sunday, at Plank, Cloverdale, CA

The gray tones of early morning are now gone.  The artfulness of this little bit of town is now set against a sky that has gone fluffy with giant clouds, with patches of brilliant blue sky emerging from behind them.

We take our inspiration for art from life all around us.  The outward vision fuels the inner vision and from there springs our interpretation of the worlds that we find. Colors in nature play in our vision to spill upon the canvas.   Like the “Listener” who asks us to stop and really hear beyond ourselves, colors present themselves, both subtle and bold, so that we may see and feel more clearly the riches around us.

Whatever art form I am drawn to, whatever colors are calling me, the feeling of the colors in the portrayal is just as important as the image itself.  On the walk home, I found beauty of colors in a tangle of weeds and at an old gate to an abandoned house.  After I paint them onto canvases waiting in the wings, these images will continue to tell their story, long after the blossoms have faded.

Take your inner artist for a walk, keeping an open mind for the unexpected beauty and simplicity in the vignette’s of nature.  See what colors you come home with to inspire you.

photo 3 photo 1

© Maria Doglio, April 27, 2014

 

SPRING INTO DIY – Creating the Creative Home

HOME

WELCOME

ENTER MY WORLD

COME ON IN!

I love entrances to homes.  I’ve always wanted mine to be inviting in such a way that it makes the visitor want to continue on through the rooms, find a comfortable seat and stay a while.  I like that when you enter my home, you can see straight through to the bamboo trees in the back yard.  It pulls you forward.  Everywhere are reflections of my arts and crafts nature, a gallery of creativity, enticing visitors to explore.

Lately, I’ve been in an artistic lull, allowing myself much needed rest.  My art studio has been a quiet jumble, projects and paintings waiting for the muse to awaken from her nap.  Sometime during this lull, spring arrived, turning my thoughts to gardens, flowers, vegetables, weed whacking and digging up the front lawn to accommodate the California drought.  Visions of new house colors and DIY projects began to dance in my head.  DIY spring fever hit hard.  Now I wanted to take my artist beat outside.

A little Paint, Ingenuity and Some Old Stuff ∼ I love utilizing what I have, transforming it to a new use or new beauty. With two broken garden chairs, and some weather beaten side tables, I began a creative and colorful transformation for the front deck.

Broken Lawn Chair

Broken Lawn Chair

Weather Beaten Side Tables

Weather Beaten Side Tables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking a cue from the red geranium, I decided on a color scheme that would give me a pop of color for the front deck.  The old webbing was cut off the lawn chairs, except for on the chair arms.  The black frame was in good shape and now ready to be transformed into a comfy, stringy outdoor seating with attitude!  I bought red 1/4″ poly rope and began wrapping.  It was worth the effort.  Next I found my bucket of red and painted the  remaining webbing on the arms; then on to the tables.

TA-DA!!

image (3)

Rescued Metal Lawn Chair (Amazingly comfortable)

Finished project (almost) below with the little red Geranium that inspired me.  (The second table is in process of being transformed)

Pop of Color Seating

Pop of Color Seating Area

The Stringy Outdoor Seating idea came from Fresh Home Magazine, Summer 2011 – sometimes it pays to keep those old magazines!

This led me to sprucing up a porch corner next to my red pop seating area.  Under a painting on wood of a parrot by my Uncle Bruno, circa 1950’s, I arranged little potted plants on an antique plant stand, which also nicely hides a pipe.  The parrot painting compliments my pop of color scheme.

image (5)

Corner Plant Stand

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Parrot – oil on wood, Bruno Giunchi, circa 1950’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More:  

Drought can inspire you to be practical and responsible to the condition of California today, Why not inspire creativity at the same time?  My thoughts turned to how I could creatively become lawn free.  Of course I wanted to do something artsy!  I made it up as I went to see how it would flow.  Like all my artistic approaches, I worked intuitively.  With flow in mind, I combined plants and ground cover to some existing plantings in a pleasing to the eye way. image (7)photo (1)Redwood bark is used as ground cover with an uneven fringe of pea and lava gravel to resemble sea foam retreating from the sand at the beach.  This little side lawn was my practice “canvas” – now on to the bigger main lawn in front of the deck!

Whatever you do, let your home reflect who you are.  Our homes are an extension of the personalities that occupy it.  I love the  DIY craze that has blossomed everywhere–reuse, rethink, re-purpose – there is so much amazing creativity springing from the imaginations of people around us.  Look around your house and instead of throwing out what you think is junk, be inspired!

All this DIY creativity, has lead me to creative writing as well.  Now, I feel the stirrings of the muse coming out of her slumber!  Time to open the curtains of the art studio and let the light in!

“The Artists Pray to Their Gods, While Opening and Preparing Their Canvases”

(Line from a poem “One with Sweetness” by Amy Trussell from her book The Painted Tongue Flowers)

© Maria Doglio, April 13, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Streams of Thought

Emitting Streams of Thought

Emitting Streams of Thought –            (while sitting in nature on a spring day, contemplating life.)                       pen and ink sketch  

Experience Everyone is having an experience.  Everyone is having an experience unique to their own inner world view.  All experiences are legitimate.  All experiences are our lessons.  All experiences move us up or move us down the ladder of ascension to the light.   Moving toward the light is essential  for ultimate experience, not only for ourselves, but for the evolution of humanity.  All of our experiences weave together in oneness as collective consciousness.  In this way, we influence how the world moves.  The sheer energy of our experience, our streams of thought, push how the world moves.  Each one of us affects the whole.

Qui-Gon Jin (The Phantom Menace), reminds us of our need for mindfulness in life:  “Always remember…your focus determines your reality.”

My focus these days, as I move forward into a new phase of my life as artist and sage woman, is to do so with mindful creation in all areas of my life.  From our creative mind and through the many forms of ART, we are able to express our deepest experiences to the world.  Through ART we tell our stories.  Embrace your creative experience. 

Maria Doglio © 2014

Springs Arrival - Cloverdale, CA

Spring’s Arrival – Cloverdale, CA

May the Fire of Renewal in Spring’s Arrival Light the Fire of your Creative Mind!

I am grateful for the beauty of nature that surrounds me in these hills and valleys.

A TOUCH OF WHIMSY

Playing with Bits and Pieces

It started with a Whole Foods Market 10 x 12 wooden box used for a catering delivery. It hung around my studio for a year.   I always had it in mind to make a little decorative stenciled tray out of it, but never followed through, so it sat gathering dust on a shelf.

How one thing leads to another always fascinates me when you stay open to imagination and play around with creative possibilities.  I had a box, I had a small painting and many bits and pieces of gathered items that had collage possibilities.  I had sat around in my studio with pieces before me on a table, a bit stuck on how to present ideas for some of my mixed media art creations – nothing was coming together in a way that I liked.   I grabbed the box and rather mindlessly began to “doodle” with the bits and pieces.  The small painting of a beach didn’t fit in the frame for which I had intended, so it made it’s way into the center of the box.  Broken ceramic doll pieces lay about.  One had inadvertently lodged itself into a moon shell.  Hmmmm, that’s interesting.   I had a broken clay shard that I didn’t want to throw away – how could I use that?

The whimsy factor began to take hold!  I dug further into my collection of shells and findings and kept on playing with the piece.  I didn’t know where it would take me, I just let it evolve.  I was having so much fun, it was hard to say “stop”, it’s completed.  The final whimsical touch was a little rabbit, right out of Alice in Wonderland, popping out of its barnicale hole.

Sea Urchins was the final result.  (see below).   The process of creative doodling, keeping a whimsical frame of mind that is open to what shows up, set me on a roll of other pieces of mixed media and textile art (check out my felt flags under Textile Art)  The process is liberating, because anything goes.  

Sea Urchins

Sea Urchins

Often, “mistakes” can turn into creative opportunity that pushes you to go a step beyond original intentions.  Next time you are stuck or not feeling the ideas are flowing in the way you want, gather all your “stuff”, sit down and just play.   It might amaze you what turns up!

Detail views of Sea Urchins:

Little doll piece that got “stuck” in a moon shell – which ultimately “unstuck” my imagination for this piece.

Sea Urchin Left detail

Rabbit, popping out of barnacle to play with urchins

Rabbit, popping out of barnacle to play with urchins

Urchin Playmate peeking out behind shell.

Sea Urchins detail right corner

Sea Scape - Mixed Media Collage Detail

Sea Scape – Mixed Media Collage Detail

Small sea scape painting that was the initial inspiration for the collage.

Copyright, Maria Doglio © 2014

Recovering from a Painting Block

“Every time we say Let there be! in any form, something happens” – Stella Terrill Mann

The day I decided to try to paint without judgement, without comparisons to other artists, silencing the harsh ridicule of the inner critic, was the day I crawled out from under a painting block that lasted 24 years.  I was living in Sedona, AZ, in 2006, surrounded by the most amazingly creative art that I had ever seen, and happened one day, to notice the date of my last painting–one of our dogs– Logan, 1982.

Logan's favorite spot on our Vermont porch

Logan 1982

I did other creative things during that time period – stencil design, craft work, and photography, but the canvas continued to allude me.

In Sedona, I began to frequent the many galleries.  The energy and creativity of other artists began to penetrate and crack the shell I had built up surrounding painting.  Inspired, I began to think I might start painting again.  At the urging of a friend, I experimented with a small painting of apples.

Little Green Apples

Little Green Apples – 2006

What followed was a surprising surge of creativity.   I started painting, reinstating my passion, discovering new areas of creativity and haven’t stopped since.   I began to understand that my art was my creative expression unique to me – not everyone has to like it.  If I achieve in my art what my inner vision wants to express, my art piece is successful.  It is a piece of me that I am sharing with the world.  That is enough, no judgement necessary.  The inner critic is always there, lurking for an opportunity to be heard the moment you get a little bit discouraged.  Sometimes I have to do the work to subdue it again.  That is when I walk away from a painting and let it rest on the easel in contemplation.  I can then intuitively plug into the painting–it tells me when I am ready to return to it, then it reveals how it would like to emerge into completion.  Go within and listen to your muse.

“When you start a painting, it is somewhat outside you.  At the conclusion, you seem to move inside the painting.”  – Fernando Botero

Unblocking Tools:  One of the biggest influences  in recovering my sense of identity as an artist, was Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way – A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity.  Her course ignited a journey that is on-going and I return to it for inspiration during periods of artistic down time.  Her course helped me think outside the box and to just let go.   The exercise of “morning pages” – a brain drain, stream of consciousness – is the most amazing and surprising tool to unlock blocks.  Julia describes the morning pages  as “the primary tool of creative recovery”.  Writing allows you to get all the negativity out, facilitating the letting go process.  It may seem like an erratic process at first.  Keep at it and trust. The Artist’s Way helps you to uncover your real self, restore confidence and free your intuitive creativity.

“All you need to do to receive guidance is to ask for it and then listen”  – Sanaya Roman

My current leap in creativity is developing this website and in writing this blog –ten years ago I wouldn’t have had the courage.  It reflects back to me where I have been and where I might be going,  By sharing my journey, I hope all who read this are inspired within their own journeys.  Over time, I have recovered my sense of strength, connection to my inner muse and most of all, my sense of possibility.  My artistic journey continues to grow in new ways- taking me on unexpected curves in the path.  My creative blocks, if they happen, don’t last very long.   The nature of life is, in itself,  creative and  never a straight line.  We flow on waves of connected quantum energy.  How you utilize that energy is a choice.  How you let that energy affect you is a choice.  Each day gives us the opportunity to create anew, to express our authentic self, be inspired, and keep growing.   Keep an open mind to creativity and it will lead you to higher goals; once reached, set new ones.  You will soon discover that creative imagination is limitless.

“The universe will reward you for taking risks on it’s behalf” – Shakti Gawain 

Maria Doglio © 2014         (Thank you to Julia Cameron – juliacameronlive.com)

Immersed in Clay Shard Creations

ART always takes me down the unexpected road and surprises me with discovery of a new creative passion.   What started as a small experiment in air dry clay mold making, quickly exploded into a happy obsession.  I fell into a creative whirlwind of little clay faces and miscellaneous clay shard pieces impressed with designs gleaned from objects around my house.  I love it when the door of imagination flies open and you realize there are no boundaries – creativity is truly endless.

Taking my love of painting into the mixed media realm, found objects, feathers, shells, beads, fabric, along with the clay shards  are all incorporated onto a painted background that enhances the art piece.  Starting small, (2×2 Clay Shard Vignette below),

Clay Vignette

Clay Vignette

I have expanded up into bigger pieces and bolder presentations, such as this Quan Yin, Goddess of Compassion, on painted canvas.  Feathers, shells, little star fish and crystal beads are all incorporated to create a sense of cosmic airiness and earthly connections.

Quan Yin, Goddess of Compassion

Quan Yin, Goddess of Compassion

There was, and still is, a lot to learn–what works, what doesn’t.  Each piece teaches me something new.  I start with a general idea, then listen while I work.  The piece will intuitively inform me of how it wants to emerge.  When I ignore my inner muse, the piece just doesn’t come together–as what happened in the beginning with the piece shown below.  I started to lay it out — but it just didn’t “feel” right.

Clay Shard Piece in Progress

Clay Shard – piece in progress

I left it for a while, resisting the temptation to toss it.  I experimented with additions and different presentations, until it all fell together into a unique presentation:  “Angel Among the Tulips” .   The background fabric gives it the warmth I felt was missing.  Enhancing the frame edge with the same metallic blue as used in this piece further tied it all together.   Be patient, don’t give up, listen to your inner muse, keep creating until it feels successful in representing your creative spirit!

Angel Among the Tulips

Angel Among the Tulips

Copyright, Maria Doglio © 2014

Special thanks to Lyn Belisle for her “Making Faces” workshop:  www.lynbelisle.com  and Kate Langlois, who pointed me in her direction via Roses on My Table:  www.katelangloisart.com; rosesonmytable.ning.com

 

GETTING MY FEET WET

Getting My Feet Wet – Transitioning into Full Time Art

January 12, 2014

Holidays are over, decorations are in the middle of being packed away.  The suitcase, back from travel, is reluctantly unpacked, already missing family visited.  The Nutcracker stands at attention on the table next to my notebook, watching me type.  Soon he will slumber for another year, while I wake up to a new way of being.

I have dipped my toe into the pool of creativity long ago, but never fully submerged both feet into the art world – until now.  A new year, a new beginning.  I rejoice at my timing.  The process is slow.  I am used to being a weekend artist.   Now freedom of time to indulge in my art has been given to me seven days a week, if I so choose.   It’s a bit disorienting, sometimes overwhelming, but as time moves, I am starting to get used to all this time on my hands, to do what my hands love best – CREATE ART.

After just finishing two paintings started last year, I am taking a reorganization break.  Cleaning house – sweeping out all of the old energies of 2013.  Then on to my Art Room – adding new shelves and things to better accommodate all of the projects and paintings still swimming around in my head.  I’d like to put some color onto the walls, but that will have to wait for summer and a bigger downtime.  Afterward, I will light my sage and drum my way through each room, inviting the muses of creativity to play with me.

I am not sure yet how it will all flow and unfold.  Just like creating any piece of art, you start out with one idea and then you find it has taken you on some unexpected turns.  I let my intuition lead the way and allow my muse to speak her voice.

My art world is very eclectic.  I try out many things – painting, stencil design, textile craft, hand crafted air-dry clay works, and one of a kind crafted pillows are all currently on my creative menu list.  My paintings cover a wide range of subjects; some are purely visionary, coming from a much deeper, otherworldly space and usually with a message.

All art is a unique message that expresses the essence of our being, our playful side, our serious side, our emotional, mental and spiritual sides.  The joy of this type of expression is limitless.  So here I am, crossing the “bridge of possibilities” into the land of “anything goes”.  I invite you to travel with me as I journey along this winding path of creative exploration.

© 2014 Maria Doglio