Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Jim Denevan

Artist Jim Denevan goes to great lengths to create art that is.... likely to be gone within a few days.

His tools include sticks, brooms,  and trucks. His pieces are large enough to be seen by planes. Can you imagine going to a beach and seeing patterns that stretches across the entirety of the sand?

Jim, who is also a chef,  has another project, Outstanding in the Field. It is a food tour of sorts that has been sold out at many locations. The idea is fresh food, with the farmers and the diners at the table.
There are a number of tickets available for this summer.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sigalit Landau

I don't remember where or when I first saw this, but it is an image that has stayed with me. It's just so beautiful.

There are snippets of her work here.

Monday, April 26, 2010

James Mylne and Bic

The artist, James Mylne, creates mostly with Bic pen.
 According to his blog, :
"he set up the first website dedicated to supplying information and promoting the use of
ballpoints in fine art ( "

His youTube channel is here.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Current Works in Progress.

The weather has been very un-Boston-like the last week. It's warm and sunny.  This affords me an opportunity to get out on the front porch and paint.  Here are two pieces that I am working on.

WIP still life with golden delicious and parrot tulips 36x48, acrylic on canvas
Work In Progress, 36x48, acrylic on canvas

WIP Delphiniums 30x40, acrylic on canvas
Work In Progress, 30x40, acrylic on canvas

Oh No (email problems and me)

Over on my website,, there is a contact me form. With a cool email address.
When I configured the email, I had set it up to forward to my gmail account (it's just easier having one email place considering my inability to remember multiple things like log-ins and passwords).  I emailed myself (heather at, and got an email in my in-box. Cool. Looks like it's working.

But, I haven't gotten email (from wonderful fantastic people).  I've actually been kind of bummed because of it. But, I didn't fret. Life goes on.

Yesterday, I was talking to my mother. She asked if I got an email. No, no I did not. She told me she sent it to my website address.                      Uh oh.

So, this morning I get into the super secret email (had to remember how to get into it). There are emails from wonderful people!  Oh my goodness!!     I am happy, but feel ashamed for not having enough marbles to figure this out earlier.

So, my apologies. I will be reading and getting to them this weekend.

And then I'm going to figure out how to forward them.


Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words.  They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character, though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning.  ~Lydia M. Child

Friday, April 23, 2010

Road ID

To say that I am clutzy would obviously be an understatement.  Who trips on an easy two mile run and gets brain damage? Moi. Number one offender right here. But does my clutziness stop me....??

You got your answer right here, folks. Where's my star spangled jumpsuit?

Before my brain injury happened,  and when I started training for the Half-Ironman, I assessed my history of stunts/accidents. I've been in the emergency room a few times. My favorite stunt that won me a trip to the emergency room was when I was mountain biking with G.  I had just learned how to do drops, and was feeling pretty full of myself. That's when I was thinking more about pizza and awesomeness than actually keeping track of what I was riding.  I hit an "invisible" stump so hard that I ended up losing control of my Giant Iguana, flew over the handlebars and did a move like superman across gravel (watch a video of a similar crash at the link).  When the dust settled, I had torn up my forearm from my elbow to my wrist. I was getting blood on my jersey.  Emergency room, here we go*...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Theo Jansen- Kinetic Sculpture

Imagine that in your front yard! The neighborhood children would be terrified. As well as the Home Association. 

Theo Jansen is a Kinetic Sculptor link leads to his site, Strandbeest. He creates "animals" that are powered by wind.

 You can see his TED talk here. In his talk, he discussed the "brain of the animal", which is binary. "It is sort of the imagination of the simple world of the beach animal".

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Saul Raisin (Raisin Hope)

Cycling. I love watching it. I love riding.
Lance is my favorite cyclist, mostly because he conquered something that he had no choice about, and then decided to completely dominate a race. I guess perspective is a good thing... beat cancer, guess I'll beat the Tour- can't be as hard as cancer.

I just learned of another rider (thanks to Joe's blog), who will also be one of my favorites. Saul Raisin.

Saul Raisin almost lost his life 4 years ago in a cycling crash (Giro d'Italia   Circuit de La Sarthe )that left him in a coma. He defied the odds in his recovery, and has returned to cycling (in the way of triathlons). From his site:

"Saul attributes his miraculous recovery to tremendous good fortune, great support from family, friends, and medical staff, and an absolute unwillingness to give up. He's determined to create a positive outcome from this intensely negative experience by inspiring other victims and their loved ones to fight with everything they've got, regardless of the odds. This is the mission behind Saul's first annual Raisin' Hope Charity Ride (March 31, 2007), his upcoming biography Tour de Life: From Coma to Competition (publication date September 1, 2007), and his relentless drive to compete in and win cycling's biggest races, including the Tour de France. Saul wants to redefine what's possible for brain injury victims, and there are a growing number of fans who believe that he'll do just that. In the hospital bed Saul said to his mother, "Mom if I ever get back to cycling I want to help people like me.""

Saul has a charity, Raisin' Hope. You can donate to help people with spinal and brain injuries.
There are also bracelets ($3 per, but you also have to buy the book, not a bad deal):

He also has a book, Tour de Life  

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Joe's Progress

Joe Damon is putting together a bike ride to raise funds for the Brain Injury Association of Connecticut.

And while you are at Joe's blog, watch the video at the top, "Joe's Journey" (it made me cry). Then say hello to Joe.

Details of the ride:

Take the road with fellow cyclists in the Brain Injury Association of Connecticut’s First Annual Bike-A-Thon, and you’ll not only share spectacular views of the six historic lighthouses set between Avery Point in Groton and Westerly, Rhode Island, but one very important common goal: raising the funds BIAC needs to go on providing critical brain injury prevention and resource services throughout Connecticut.

• 62 mile ride $125
• 25 mile ride $50

All participants will receive a Bike-A-Thon t-shirt, water bottle, food at the event, and the gratification of knowing that 100% of everything raised will go directly to support BIAC services.

My Cookie Doesn't Have Cookie Flavor

I ate the cookie, chewing thoughtfully. Rolling my tongue around the texture and detecting flavors. The flavors were off. "This is supposed to be sweet, right?" I asked G.  He had the same cookie, and he confirmed that yes, it IS sweet.  My cookie was not sweet, not to me anyway. I could taste the earthiness of chocolate, but not much else. Other things tasted a bit odd, too. All the sweet had been knocked out of me. Fruit tasted weird. Soup tasted weird.  It was sort of an adventure to see what things tasted like without sweet.

Because taste and smell are heavily dependent upon each other, I started to wonder about what things I couldn't smell. The old dairy house we live in has gas lines. What happened if I couldn't smell a gas leak? I was always tired, so feeling like I had to lie down and take a nap wouldn't have been out of the ordinary.

This study confirms what I had learned in the first week after my injury.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Inappropiate Words

A few nights ago, after dinner, I thought to myself.. " I would really like to have some purple".

Yeah, I know. What the heck does that mean?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

This Should Be Interesting

Bravo is introducing Work of Art, a reality competition that pits artists against each other.

Upon hearing this, I had many thoughts run through my head, and not many of them were kind.  While I love the idea of artists in American living rooms (and possibly making artists seem more approachable), I am under no delusion that the series won't focus on cat fights, personality differences, and the drama that stems from these as well as other things.

I'll watch it anyway, hoping for the best. Maybe they'll add a little art history and education, but I'm truly not holding my breath. The host of the show, Mr. Powers, said "Hopefully, this show creates a bigger audience for art as a whole".  One can hope.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


HMCraig, "Teapot on a Funny Day", 9x12, acrylic on panel

This is the painting that I had previously been freaking out about. I did end up finding the blog where the painting challenge was. Thank goodness!

I had a lot of fun painting this for two reasons:
  1. One of the books is David Sedaris' "When You Are Engulfed in Flames"
  2. I got to paint outside on the porch and enjoy the marvelous Spring weather

Laura Breitman

 Do yourself a favor and check out Laura Breitman's work.  She is a mixed media collage artist who works mostly with fabric. Think exquisitely detailed... quilts???  They're not quilts, as her pieces are not meant with a practical purpose, and some of them are 18x19".  I do know that they're beautiful.

Here are some pieces that blew me away:
Still Waters


Victor's Piano Room

Tribute to Jan Van Huysm

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Do you remember that Grimm fairy tale starring Hansel and Gretel? The one where the children know they're being lead out to the woods to get lost on purpose, so they come up with an ingenious plan to get back home using a trail of pebbles/bread crumbs? And even then, they get so lost that they're in an impossible situation with a child devouring witch that lives in a candy (candy!!) house?

I just had a situation like that. Sort of.

 Easter Witch by Ylvas on Flickr

Monday, April 12, 2010


Today is my one year brain injury Anniversary.

A year ago, I set out to do a simple two mile run, because I was in training for a Half-Ironman. I was about 200 feet from my sister's house when I tripped and hit my head.   Emergency room, CT scan, stitches. Black eye. I didn't know who U2 was. I was only allowed to eat broth type things.  I am still recovering.

I guess it's kind of a one year Birthday, too.
I'm a different person, in ways that I have learned, and in ways that I am sure I will learn about.

Here's to discovery and reflection, letting go and embracing.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Break open a cherry tree and there are no flowers, but the spring breeze brings forth myriad blossoms.  ~Ikkyu Sojun

I used to live in the DC area, and love the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Kristina Logan

Kristina Logan is "recognized internationally for her glass beads. She is an independent artist who lives and works in New Hampshire." She has been featured at the Smithsonian's American Art Museum and is a featured artist on one of Corning's master class DVD's.

I've always had a fascination with glass. I've also very much liked pattern. Kristina puts them both together in a special little package that you can bring with you in the form of her jewelry.  

 You can buy jewelry by her here.

All pieces presented in this post by Kristina Logan.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Whip It

G and I watched "Whip It", a movie directed by Drew Barrymore and starring Ellen Page. It is about roller derby. No lie, I have seriously thought about participating in roller derby. I think it looks like a hoot,  quite an experience. The idea of a fun stage name (Peaches N Scream? Eva Destruction? Alison Wonderslam?  Pummelina?) was totally chocolate buttercream icing on the cake. I was never really scared to play rough and tumble. Then thoughts started rolling around my head about medical bills, and working in a corporate environment with a broken nose, black eyes, fractured fingers, .... and this was before my head injury.

Roller Derby Women by Gomisan on Flickr

 During the filming, Drew Barrymore got a concussion. I think that you can actually see some of the effects in the film. She's supposed to be playing a spaced out character anyway, but early on she is *very* spacey.  Her eyes are kind of fixed and swimming, it looks like she is dazed. I imagine that is probably what I looked like.

During the film's promotion, she stopped by the Conan O'Brien show. He had recently sustained a concussion, and they discuss some of the effects of the injury on work and relationships. Most significantly, how the survivor tries to keep going on with life as normal. 

Here is the clip:
Drew and Conan compare head injuries 

 Roller Derby, Skate of Emergency by Gomisan on Flickr

Watching Whip It made me a bit sad, though, and I shared that with G (he's a rock climber who has had to sit out due to hand injuries..he understands). While I am starting to be able to be more active, I don't think I'll ever be able to do Roller Derby, and right now, I can't ride my bike out on the roads by myself (and having such nice weather lately is really hard). It's like I'm in the longest "time out" ever, sitting in the corner watching the other kids have fun.  I went on a long walk yesterday, it was very leisurely, and nice...but...The baby steps are killing me, and I know they're necessary if I want to be repaired.

In the end, it was a good film. It was unabashadly fun with a heaping helping of exploration of the relationships in a family (namely .. the fairly conservative mother who wants her daughter in pageants and the daughter who feels passionate about roller derby but still wants to make her mother proud).

Salem Arts Association

Yours truly is now listed as a member of the Salem Arts Association.
 Yes, the Salem with the witches.

Marblehead and Salem Arts associations teamed up for a collaborative exhibit, The Blue Show: All Things Water. Going on now.

Outing (or a one-person field trip)

This morning, I went on a little walk around town. I haven't really done this by myself until today. I knew I wanted to go to the library and then to the drugstore to pick up some photos that I'm going to use as reference. I figured in between A, B, and C; I might be able to stop and smell the hyacinths at A 1/2 and B 3/4. Leisure was planned, but bonus points were achieved for actually getting something accomplished.

I made it to the library without much trouble. The magazine room was calling me, and I made a beeline for a comfortable seat next to the window. There was a stack of magazines in my lap. I tore through them, mostly looking at pictures and announcements. Artist, Cape Cod , and  Bicycling* magazines entertained me in the sumptuous quiet of the library.

Getting to the drug store was a little bit trickier. Busy intersections with unreliable traffic lights left me kind of stranded on the sidewalk. The thing is, if there's a lot of traffic, I can't keep track of what's coming and going... so I wait, and wait (oh, hey, somebody else just crossed? maybe I should try??), and wait... until the crosswalk light tells me it's ok to go. Even then, my head is swiveling around looking for the motorist that is cruising right on red. Or the person who isn't paying attention to the lights.  My anxiety creeps in on me. It's times like this that I know I still have recovering to do.

And the noise! I couldn't walk on the main street for long because of all the noise. A truck hitting it's squealing brakes caused me to dart and search out a quiet secondary street. I had to get away from it. Noises cause me problems.   There was an instance when I was standing at an intersection (already anxious), and saw a firetruck blasting it's sirens coming out of a side street... the thought of the firetruck driving by with sirens blaring AND the intersection I was currently facing caused me to panic a bit. I was sure that I would have been freaked out enough to cry right there, but luck came my way and the roaring engine went in the opposite direction.

When I am out by myself and there is a lot of stimulus (loud traffic, busy intersections, crowds), I have noticed I tend to walk with my head swiveling around, wide eyes darting in all directions. My steps are quick, my arms in a praying mantis pose clutching my bag, or held so that if I fall, my hands will break it (not my head). I figure I look a bit like a nut. So, I smile at the people I walk by.... which might result in me looking like a certifiable nut. But, I try to be friendly. And I try not to be scared or overwhelmed. Focusing on positive things helps me.

The good things from today's outing:
-I got some reference prints for paintings
-Sitting quietly in the library and looking at magazines
-Reeses Easter eggs, 50% off
-Inexpensive gold flecked nail polish
-Pictures of narcissus, crocus, hyacinths, and a magnificent circle of grape hyacinths
-I went out and did things by myself

* was mentioned. I rather like this site and the jerseys for sale, as I have been the target of motorist  road rage (yelling, hand gestures, honking, driving thisclosetome). My only infraction was that I was on pavement (the horrors!!). I don't run red lights, I am just this side of the white line, and I'm not flipping people off. I've got enough problems without instigating a cyclist vs. car fight. I'm wearing what amounts to a thin layer of spandex, cruising down a road doing 30; while motorists who are driving AND texting in 1 ton vehicles of steel and glass are barreling past. Sidewalks are for pedestrians. No, I don't have to ride in the gutter. A majority of the time I ride, I am by myself, so if something happens, I'm kinda s.o.l.  So, if you're out cruising in your car, please give the cyclist some room, patience, and respect. And ...  Shame on you, Tony Kornheiser.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Judith Sparhawk, Light Fantastic

I found some colors this morning, in the form of photographs by Judith Sparhawk. From the site:
"These are colorful abstract images utilizing close-up photography, with or without digital filters or color adustments."


What is a pirate's favorite letter?

Highlight for answer:
  You think it would be Rrrrrgh, but it's actually C.

Thanks, Kat!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Blue Show: All Things Water

HMCraig Elation
HMCraig, Elation, 36x48", acrylic on canvas

Elation has been accepted into "The Blue Show: All Things Water".  It is a month long show put on by the Marblehead Arts Association and the Salem Arts Association.  There will also be floral interpretations of artwork in the exhibit by the Cottage Gardeners (I'm really interested to see what they come up with!).

April 3-25
Opening Reception April 11, 2-4

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sasha's Birthday!

Sasha, looking cheeky with her bunny ears

It is Sasha's 16th birthday today!  No, that is not a typo. She is actually 16 (112 in doggie years?), and acts like she's 3. She's currently wearing a floral pastel bandana with sequins and taking a nap (yes, she is pretty fabulous).We will be going to get her doggie driving license soon. I can't drive, but maybe my collie can!

I am going to be making a doggie birthday cake  for Sasha and her sister Beans. We'll also share some with the neighbor's dog (he likes cake, too!). There will be sliced banana on top, because Sasha looooves bananas.

Happy Birthday Cake for Doggies
1 egg
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup honey (optional)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup whole wheat or white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 6 cup ring mold.

  • Combine the egg, peanut butter, oil, vanilla, and honey, if desired, in a large bowl; blend well. Stir in the carrots and mix thoroughly. Sift together the flour and baking soda and fold into the carrot mixture. Spoon cake batter into prepared pan.

  • Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes; then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.