Value in Women's Voices

Kelsey Le Mesurier teaches poetry in the NSW in Australia and has graciously obtained permission to use my work on the cover of her booklet for school. I opened the booklet to find the first poem is absolutely one of my favorites! Thank you Kelsey!

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Still I Rise

By Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise

When In Doubt, Add a Third Eye

Sometimes, a painting just needs to be revisited and addressed further. This happens to me more than I readily admit but this painting was an obvious case. The first attempt was a piece called Speechless that I painted for my solo show Journey to Bliss (at Arts on Douglas Gallery in New Smyrna.) The peaceful woman on the left represented how I try to live my life; completely calm and in the present moment, absorbing and cherishing every moment for the gift that it is. The woman on the right represented how I could freeze, become speechless and loose my voice when confronted with anger, hostility and non-acceptance by a certain person from my past. This was yet another classic example of my art as therapy!

 Speechless, first round

Speechless, first round

The more I stared at Speechless, once it was back in my studio, the more I wanted to change it. Was it because it was about being passive or feeling helpless? Or was it because the painting itself just didn't work. What would I say about the piece if it was a student or a fellow artist? The composition is split in half down the middle, leaving it too awkward, too clumsy, too bright, too this, too that. After a solid hour of staring at it, I figured it out. I broke my own rule about components in odd numbers. You can't divide a piece down the middle with only two fragments! So that was the solution; when in doubt, add a third eye. 

In the traditions of the chakras, the third eye is the center of intuition and foresight. The function of the third eye chakra is driven by the principle of openness and imagination. This third eye may not have been on her forehead, but it symbolizes the reflection and the awareness that both my painting and my predicament were missing! I love this painting so much more now. Fixed and that much closer to healed!

 Speechless Again, second round

Speechless Again, second round

Other third eye paintings I love! 

New Abstract Paintings

I am loving my new McRae studio and I have been working away on a new series of abstracts that I just love!! Here's a preview. Come see in person at the McRae opening:

McRae Art Studios Spring Open House

Saturday, May 19, 2018
6 to 9 pm

 License is Required 36" x 48"

License is Required 36" x 48"

Love Teaching at McRae!

McRae Art Studios is such a great place to host workshops, especially with my new studio there in the heart of it. And what a fabulous group of women! Thank you for sharing all your great energy!

The public can come check out McRae at our next opening;

McRae Art Studios Spring Open House

Saturday, May 19, 2018
6 to 9 pm

Teachers! The studios are available for rent for workshops. See all the details  on mcraeartstudios.com.

Want to play and make art this weekend?

I am setting up for my workshop at McRae Art Studios and I still have space for a few more people who want to make art! It's not too late to sign up- come play!!


  Drawing and Painting on Mixed Media Collage 2 Day Workshop at McRae Art Studios, Orlando, FL

April 14-15, 2018, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 5 pm

$195 Click here to register

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Drawing and Painting with Mixed Media Collage

Learn the joys of mixed media collage.  In the workshop, I teach the fundamentals of collage, drawing and painting. I will address working with papers, fabrics, found objects, past art work, pencil and charcoal drawing, and acrylic painting.  The materials used will be the choice of each student, but students are encouraged to incorporate some of their own prior art work into new pieces. The objective of the workshop is to explore new mixed media techniques and excavate each student’s authentic voice in their art.

I teach 2 drawing methods using the student's own photos. I teach how to graph a photo for any size free hand drawing and also a tracing method that works well for small pieces and individuals who are intimidated or new to drawing. We learn the fundamentals of collage on the first day and then spend the second day drawing and painting over those collages. I do drawing demonstrations on the first day so that you know what to expect and what kind of photo reference to bring. I work individually with each person trying to get their projects to a place that they love.

I encourage everyone to incorporate mixed media collage into what they already do! I will work with each of you on whatever style project you would like to work on whether it is faces, figures, landscapes, still lives or abstracts. There are no set rules in my workshops. I try to create a fun time that introduces new techniques and a comfortable learning environment to enhance where you already are. All levels are welcomed!