Sunday, May 30, 2010

You Were Only Waiting For This Moment

HMCraig You Were Only Waiting for This Moment 30x40
HMCraig, "You Were Only Waiting For This Moment", 30x40, acrylic on canvas

I painted this entirely out on the front porch overlooking a flower bed. What a good way to spend time- listening to birds, chipmunks, and the rustling leaves.  This is the same lilac bouquet that my dogs were getting into in an earlier post.

These lilacs will probably end up in another painting... or two.

Gardyn by Pogo

Comprised entirely of sounds in his mother's garden.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

On the Subject of Flowers in Art

Jesa Damora creates huge pieces. They are of flowers. And they are magnificent.

On her website, I found "A Short Polemic"

"It has been said to me that the subject of flowers is not a challenging one. First of all, everyone does them. That must mean they’re boring—like sex? Flowers are the sophisticate’s horror, a Decorative Art: ‘botanicals’, sheet and china patterns, pretty cards from the MFA, coffee table books on the restored Giverny plantings. And Georgia O’Keefe had the last word on them, anyway. As a demur to this dominant and smug position, how could a new attempt not be challenging?"

Lesson Learned

When I am tired, for want of a nap, I should never ever ever listen to Dead Can Dance.  When I am tired, I am subject to the throes of mood swings. They are pretty intense, and small things can send me on an emotional journey.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Comments, for Real

HA!  Finally!

Upcoming Events

I've been accepted into a few shows/events over the past few days.  The dates and details have been posted at the top right of this blog. I am now really making sure to keep track of dates and times for drop off, pick up, and artist receptions (thank goodness for my iCalendar.. with alarms!).

First off...  Fresh & Fruity. A juried/curated show by Wendy Snow-Lang at Artist's Row in Salem Massachusetts, by the Salem Art Association. May 27- June 27. 

Yes, it's that Salem, the one with the witches and the trials.

Next up, Waltham Art Windows, to coincide with the Waltham River Fest! Artists were selected to show their work in store fronts along Moody street from June 11-July 30th.

 Waltham is the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, and was/is famous for watches (it's also known as Watch City). Abraham Lincoln and David Scott (Apollo mission to the moon- 1971) had Waltham Watches. The buildings that once housed the watch companies, now house artists and their studios- The Waltham Mills Artists Association Moody Street is known in the area as Restaurant Row, as it has a great variety of wonderful cuisine (yum!).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Beans and Apple Tart

Beans Tart
Beans manages to position herself in prime real estate when there is some baking done. The counter is pretty low, and within reach, but neither dog has cleaned the counter tops. We are fortunate to have good doggies. I think it also helps that we do give them treats (mostly vegetables and pieces of fruit).

Monday, May 24, 2010


Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.  ~Walt Whitman

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Northeast Prize Show

 HMCraig CAA Northeast Prize Show 2010
Heather with her painting "Clementines and Blue" at CAA's Northeast Prize Show

Thursday was a bit of an anxiety test for me. The Northeast Prize Show opening was that night. All day, I worried about whether there would be too many people there, I worried whether I could carry on a conversation with new people about art (having art conversations isn't easy). I worried about whether or not I should say something about my injury, just in case I said something outlandish. For the record, telling new people you have a brain injury is a conversation killer. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me, but if I do something that I realize is odd, I want them to maybe understand why I said this or did that.  Social skills are a challenge.

I got so anxious that I couldn't take my nap.  THAT is a problem. It just magnifies my symptoms when I don't have sleep.

Thankfully, the show went well. I met new artists and saw beautiful work. An artist friend of ours showed up for support.   I had a great night and  couldn't stop smiling for hours!   Although, right before I fell into medicinal sleep, I asked G if I did all right with conversations. He said I did well.  Sweet dreams, indeed.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Work in Progress (slowly but surely)

HMCraig WIP Parrot
HMCraig, work in progress, acrylic on canvas

Thought I would let you all see how this painting is going. There is still much more work to do, but it's been a fun little adventure.  The weather has been beautiful, so I've been able to paint outside on the porch and listen to the birds and watch the trees in the breeze.

and.. oh, hey, look... it's me!

HMCraig and WIP

Friday, May 21, 2010

Gordon Ramsay - Eggs on Toast

A good friend pointed out this video of Gordon Ramsay cooking scrambled eggs on toast. I tried it, and must say they were heavenly.

ArtHash Interview

I got interviewed at ArtHash!  Follow the link to see my interview as well as other artist's take on things.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Eric Wert

Eric Wert, "Little Dahlia",  6x8", oil on panel

Now that I have you hooked, go and check out Eric Wert's site. It is filled with color, pattern, and light. The pieces that Eric works on are mostly small (the above piece is only 6 inches by 8 inches). The richness of attention to detail are what makes Eric's pieces so beautiful.  Sure, the flowers are magnificent, too...   ;)

According to his resume, he was a scientific illustrator. That definitely shows in his work.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How Cool/Wonderful/Awesome!

I was just told by my friend Joe Damon, that the Brain Injury Association of Connecticut Bike Ride that happened this past Sunday raised over $8,000. 

photo by Bill McEwen

Cambridge Art Association's Northeast Prize Show

This piece is currently showing at the Northeast Prize Show. It is a juried exhibition by Cheryl Brutvan.  According to the press release (which I would attach if I knew how to), more than 700 pieces were submitted. About 100 pieces made the show.

Click through the link to see some absolutely extraordinary art.

Losing My Marbles

Pretty cool illusion, no?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Speaking of Small Things

Check out this slideshow. It is a bunch of magnified pictures of ... sand, by Gary Greenberg. You never know what jewels lie beneath your feet (garnets, diamonds, beautiful whorls of shells).

To see more of Dr. Gary Greenberg's work, click here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

What Lies Within Us

HMCraig What Lies Within Us
HMCraig, "What Lies Within Us", 9"x12", acrylic and oil on hardboard panel

Focusing on the intricacies and wonder of small extraordinary things helps me stay grounded and doesn't let me get caught up in trivial dramas that every day life brings.  Everything has possibility.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lilacs and Dogs

I got my hot little hands on a whole bouquet of Lilacs. I take many reference pics for my paintings, and while I was out enjoying the beautiful day with a whole lotta flowers, I made sure to have my doggies out and about, too. I thought they would roll around in the grass, wallow in the sunshine, and leave my flowers alone.  Beans and Sasha, it seems, had other ideas.

They are particularly skilled at photobombing. Photobombing is defined as showing up in pictures you aren't supposed to be in. Think... drunk guy in background at formal wedding picture. There are some examples here, here, here, and here.  The irony here is that when I am actually trying to take a picture of the girls, they zip off to the other side of the yard. I can't get them in the frame.

Bouquet of Lilacs eats Collie
Sasha, being eaten(?) by lilac bouquet

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Postcard Art

HMCraig, "Poppy Park, poppy wrangling" acrylic on postcard

A gallery in Sweden is having a show comprised of altered postcards. I altered Fenway (the sacrilege, the horror!).   I  thought that a park where giant poppies roamed around and teams of men tried to wrangle them (like a rodeo) while an audience watched would be interesting. Watch out for those big poppies. 

Monday, May 10, 2010


Pluck not the wayside flower;
It is the traveler's dower.
~William Allingham

Sunday, May 9, 2010

MTV's True Life

True Life is a show on MTV. It's the only show I'll watch on the station, simply because there is some learning to be done. There are episodes that chronicle young people living their lives and navigating multiple obstacles like moving to another place for love, dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and getting a transplant. There are heavy shows, there are lighter shows.

This is a recent episode titled "I Have A Traumatic Brain Injury"

MTV's True Life "I Have A Traumatic Brain Injury"

I haven't been able to watch it all the way through, yet.
I know that MTV has a large audience, and I hope that this reaches them (wear your helmets, don't drink and drive!!), and takes some fear away from interaction with disabled people.    ... I'm kinda tired right now(pill), so I'm not really as eloquent as I would like to be. Need to go to bed, good night!

*** update
like my friend John Byler said.. brain injuries are like fingerprints, they're all different. The people in this program do have some common traits (memory loss/problems/ mobility issues), but they each have a different battle. I think that something that unites us all is that we all seem to want to help others in the same situation.  Some parts are kind of hard to watch, but the support they are getting from their caregivers is wonderful, and there are improvements.

also, I think one of the guys in the program, Donny, is in my support group. If I remember, I will look for him next time at Spaulding (they showed the hospital quickly, then showed a room I am very familiar with).

"Oh, my"

HMCraig "Oh, my" 30x40, acrylic on canvas
HMCraig, "Oh, my", 30x40, acrylic on canvas

I finished one of my Works in Progress!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Brain Injury and Crime

funny pictures of dogs with captions

Before my medication, I was ... kind of crazy. I remember thinking horribly aggressive and violent things (they would just pop into my head) and then the rational side of my brain would act as school teacher and tell the class to 'cool it'. Shock would follow.       I was ashamed, and didn't really tell anybody about this, not in detail anyway. I didn't want people to be scared or ashamed of me.

For example, last summer,  G was helping me out in the kitchen (he's really good in the kitchen). He was peeling vegetables. It looked like he was being painfully slow about it. I was also peeling vegetables, with a knife in my hand. Out of nowhere, I wanted to scream at him and tell him to " get the f*ck out of the kitchen if he was going to be so gddmned slow".           I know.  What a way to treat someone you love, huh?   I quickly realized what was going on in my head, and I re-focused on another task.  I scared myself. We had dinner. I didn't say anything, I was too ashamed and scared. I didn't want him to leave me on a Mental Institution doorstep.

Friday, May 7, 2010


They like my work! I received a congratulatory email, and I am now an Artist Member of the Marblehead Art Association. The people there have been very friendly (I even got a hug!), helpful, and encouraging. I am looking forward to working on and exploring art with them.

I also get to explore the beautiful town, too! 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Goings On

HMCraig "Clementines and Blue"
HMCraig, Clementines and Blue, 40x60, acrylic on canvas

I've been busy these past few days.

Today, I learned that Clementines and Blue was accepted into Cambridge Art Association's Northeast Prize Show. It was juried by Cheryl Brutvan, the Curator of Contemporary Art, Norton Museum of Art.

The opening reception will be Thursday, May 20th, 6-8 pm; awards at 7 pm

And... I was encouraged to become an artist member with the Marblehead Arts Association. It is a jurying process, so I had to bring 5 pieces to Marblehead today so some of their current members could check out my work in person and decide whether I'm the right stuff or not. The Art Association have been extremely kind and encouraging to me.  While judging goes on today, the results won't be out for a few days, I'm told. I will let you all know what happens.

WIP Delphiniums 30x40, acrylic on canvas

And... I recently finished the delphinium painting I was working on (it is now named "Oh, my" after reading a touching passage in a Kurt Vonnegut novel, which follows). The image with this post is still a WIP image, because I forgot to take a photo of it before it was whisked off to Marblehead. I will post a finished photo.

"She did not have enough breath left to make her vocal cords buzz. She could only mover her lips noiselessly. 
Here is all she had to say about death: "Oh my, oh my."
  Like all Earthlings at the point of death, Mary Young sent faint reminders of herself to those who had known her. She released a small cloud of telepathic butterflies, and one of these brushed the cheek of Dwayne Hoover, nine miles away.
   Dwayne heard a tired voice from somewhere behind his head, even though no one was back there. It said this to Dwayne: "Oh my, oh my."

 -Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mikel Wintermantel


My childhood was lived outside in the sunshine, rain, fields, creeks, lakes, and forests of upstate NY. Due to my parents insistence that we were better off out of the house, my siblings and I were tan sprites that flitted in and out of the woods,  making up and playing games with the neighborhood children.  Because of my 'outside education',  I can smell rain on a summer's wind, know which berries won't grant me a death wish if I decide to partake, and can spot and enjoy the sight of many animals. Because of this 'education', I had also learned to love the landscape. Multiple patterns, light, lines, and colors are made up by rolling hills, fields, trees. The large and changing sky contributes a variety of moods to the patterns of the landscape.

Mikel Wintermantel paints the landscape of my youth, in all of it's magic, mischief, and tranquility. He is a Copley Master who delivers beautiful luminous landscapes of New England and the surrounding areas. 

Autumn Spectrum
Enter the Fall
Frozen Morning
Kingsbury Pond
Moving Out
Vermillion Light
Wing Hollow Dusk
Bales in Twilight
Clouds in Town
Evening Tempest
Long Lake
October Ghosts

Monday, May 3, 2010

Field Trip (big adventure, small steps edition)

My horizons are getting wider. I had a support group meeting this weekend, and G is pretty supportive in going with me, but the weather was gorgeous and ripe for rock climbing (I can't begrudge him for wanting to enjoy what he enjoys most).  So, G went and climbed in the sunshine at Rumney, NH. I learned about the Boston MBTA (G did help me figure out a good travel itinerary beforehand).

I haven't been on public transportation by myself since the accident. Before that, I had only been on the subway part. So, to throw the bus, the commuter rail, and the subway at me was an exercise in anxiety. To top it off, I had to be at a certain place by a certain time. I made sure I had my phone, GPS, and RoadID on me. I also had a list of itineraries organized according to time for my return trip.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Liz Hatch

sorry 'bout all the cycling related posts lately... it's the weather. perfect to get out and ride. I have to live vicariously.