Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Folk Fest was just the best. Great and interested buyers, wonderful inspiring art and great friendly artists. Can't say enough about it. Check out this blog post about us at - very nice mention.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Folk Artists - Start your engines.

Four more days before I can set up for Folk Fest 2010. I am curiously peaceful/not stressed about it. Just excited. I am happy with the work I've created and look forward to the feedback about the new stuff. I always learn a lot.

Can't wait to see my art peeps. It's like Old Home Week at Folk Fest. Artists and galleries and friends. Strangers/collectors ready to become friends.

And then there's the inspiration that Folk Fest always provide. I have a paper mache chicken head hanging in my kitchen. I bought it at FF 4 years ago from a young man from Texas. His cousin Bubba, age 14, made the chicken heads. There were dozens of them in the booth, big and small. I wanted them all. Every time I look at my chicken head I think of that kid in Texas. Most likely he wasn't part of the cool crowd. Making chicken heads because he needed to make them. I can relate to Bubba. You've just gotta do it and you feel so good when you do.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bless me, Father.

28 new paintings and counting. I can't quite figure out if that's one finished piece per day or what. Math was never ever my strong suit. However, I feel like I've made a big dent in my goal of 50 new and glorious images for Folk Fest. The best part is that I'm not in any way tired of painting. In fact, it's all I want to do.

I feel like Hansel and Gretel - well, more like Gretel - following the path of bread crumbs to a special place. One painting leads to another, to a series, to a new idea or technique. My own personal workshop. The paintings and process are the teacher.

I still hate the part where I have to measure/inventory/price/photograph each piece. Time consuming,boring and necessary. Painting all day feels luxuriously self indulgent. Fortunately, I get to sell the paintings which eliminates the self indulgence guilt. This is guilt that comes from a '50s Catholic childhood where anything that felt good required confession and penance.

"Bless me, Father, for I have painted..."

Friday, July 9, 2010

Folk Fest 2010

Despite the smothering/sweltering summer heat of Atlanta, I am painting every day. In a nice air conditioned space. Trying to build an inventory of paintings that I can be proud of.

When did the world get so hot? I grew up in a time without air conditioning and don't ever remember wanting to stay indoors to avoid the heat. Now I hesitate to open the front door unless absolutely necessary. A wall of 95+ degrees and hideous humidity slaps me in the face. Gardening is no fun and my deep shady front porch no longer invites me to sit and linger. So I get my run/walk/exercise in as early as possible and spend the rest of the day painting.

I am getting a body of work together for the famous Slotin Folk Fest in August.
That's August 20-22nd at the North Georgia Trade Center - you can check it out at

Folk Fest is a show I make sure to see every year. I leave in awe of the creativity on exhibit. I have a million ideas, inspiration and a sense of how lucky I am to be able to paint and draw.

Now that I'm an exhibitor, I have no idea how many paintings are too much, just enough or constitute an embarrassing shortage. I'll be sharing a booth with the wise and talented artist, Lou Sparks Smith. We both have dreamed of exhibiting at this show. The quality of the exhibitors and the buyers who come from all over the country make Folk Fest a must-see for serious folk artists/collectors. I am really looking forward to the opportunity. In the meantime, there is probably no pile of paintings big enough to give me a sense of security.

The new image at the top is entitled "Mother Hen". The look of concern on her face is most likely a reflection of my current state of mind.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Tonys and Techniques

It's Tony Awards night and as a relocated New Yorker I love to watch them. Right now someone is singing Jerry Lee Lewis songs and pretending to be him. When we moved to Atlanta in 1996, Jerry Lee's child bride, Myra, was our realtor. She was a smart and wise woman, remarried and still very protective of Jerry Lee. So much for the media portrayal. Myra was an inspiration.

I love the creativity and talent of Broadway. Off off Broadway was more my thing. I was always inspired by the tiny 12 seat theaters that were 3 flights up, offering a production put together with hope and scotch tape. My passion for Glee springs from my old love affair with New York theater.

Creativity takes so many forms. 2D, 3D, mixed media, song, dance, the written word. I am forever grateful for my ability to get it all out with a pencil and paint brush. Now that I'm painting every day I feel like Alice down the rabbit hole - so many options and choices. Drink me. One pill makes you larger, one pill makes you small.... ( maybe that's Grace Slick? )

Today I painted with colors that weren't true to the subject matter (!!!) and without pencil lines. This orphan child is sitting on the hutch behind me. I keep looking at it, shocked that it came from my brushes. I have no idea if I will take it further and have two styles ( more !!!) or it will forever just sit there waiting to be adopted. This is the gift of painting every day and having time to think about it. A lovely intriguing gift.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Following the Yellow Brick Road

I have been on the yellow/cadmium/crimson/titanium white brick road of late. And like Dorothy, I am so hypnotized by the path.

I feel a little guilty when I paint. I sit here and play with colors and ideas and images and sell the finished painting.
C'mon - are you sure?
Yep, it's true.
Eventually each image will find a home. A home with someone who really loves it. What a great way to make a living. I know it's more secure being an accountant or a teacher. (I have a degree in Elementary Ed - and teachers have some sweet benefits!)

Artists have no idea from month to month what their "salary" will be. But the benefits are so satisfying. I don't know if other folks who have a dream and get to follow it feel the same way. Being an artist is kind of a touchy/feely concept. There are no "Idiot's Guide to Being A Working Artist" - at least I don't think so. It's a feel your way kind of profession.

Thanks be for all the generous men and women I've been privileged to know along the way. They share their resources, techniques and wisdom with great heart and generosity. Did I mention that I feel so blessed and lucky to finally just be able to paint?

Friday, May 7, 2010


I'm taking a break from packing the car and figuring out the aerodynamics of an EZ Up Tent. Love that name.... should be EZ to Curse at Tent.

We will all be setting up in the dark tomorrow morning for the brand new Dunwoody Arts Festival. This show is organized by the same woman who made the Norcross Arts Festival the wonderful event it is today. Check out the info at - the show runs from 10 - 7 on Saturday, May 8th and 12:30 - 6 on Sunday May 9th. A nice way to spend Mother's Day, perhaps?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Come One, Come All

As promised, here is the show schedule for this spring.

I am so excited to show my new work. I love talking to buyers and hearing what they think about the images. The Wesleyan Show is the perfect place for that. Artists get to sit with their work, chat and listen. Not all the private school shows offer that opportunity.

Here we go - websites, dates and everything you need to know. There are some really great artists and craftsmen at each of these shows. It's the fun part for me - checking out other folks' creative work and getting inspired.

APRIL 29,30 & MAY 1ST 2010

MAY 8 AND 9 2010

PRESENTED BY MADDI'S GALLERY click on Folk Art Festival
MAY 15 & 16 2010

And when these back to back shows are over, I think I'm gonna be ready for a long nap!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Paintbrush on Fire!

One of my goals for 2010 was to add some juried art shows to my schedule. I miss painting for the joy of painting - without worrying if the image will work as a notecard or print and how many pieces of it I can sell.

I have a hard time switching gears as I transition from studio manager/marketing whiz/ packer to plain old Kathleen who loves to paint. In the process there are always some loser paintings/ideas. I'll look at them and say:
"Whew! Ew - what were you thinking?"

I have more ideas than time right now. I'm working in series, which I've never done before. (Except for the Dog Shrines) I love how it's flowing. There's a floral series of fantasy flowers in black and white pottery. I'm just beginning a "Mother" Series - Earth Mother, My Sainted Mother, Stay at Home Mother ... this one could go on forever. And of course my beloved dogs and cats are well represented.

I'll post some of the new images. Would love any feedback. It's always a strange feeling to be surrounded by paintings that no one has seen. I wonder if anyone else will be as excited as I am about them. My favorite painting is always the last one I did. I don't think I have an objective view. That's a good thing - there's enough self flagellation that goes on during the creative process.

Next post will be the show schedule and more new paintings. Off to find the vacuum - another little quirk is that I like to start painting in a clean space. At the end of the day it's a freakin' mess.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ready for the Sunshine!

Whew! It was quite a busy day at the Cottage. Artists arriving between raindrops and setting up their wares. I love the energy and exchange of ideas/creativity that happens. I would be perfectly content if we all just sat around and examined each other's work and talked about our processes. Geek. Art geek?

To add to the excitement of set-up day, my amazing #2 daughter and the babies showed up to help out. Ella drew pictures to sell and Alice taught herself to climb the stairs. Up and down. According to Ella, Mimi's house is "fantastic".

A special thanks to the talented Bailey Jack, for generously donating her art to a fundraiser for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. #2 daughter is one of her biggest fans. Don't know if that donated painting will make it to the auction...

Can't wait for tomorrow - it promises to be a perfect spring day. Combine the weather and the inspiring art to make for a memorable experience. Please join us!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Come one Come all!

The Spring Art Market at Chicken Creek Cottage
will be open this weekend - Friday and Saturday - April 9th and 10th from 10 - 4.

Our winter market was so much fun that we decided to do it again, only bigger and better. It's going to be a wonderful country outdoor art fair. We have 9 talented artists bringing their work to the cottage. They'll set up their tents on the lawn and we'll have art on the porch, too. We have 2 creative women who are arranging spring flowers in vintage containers and offering homemade goodies.

Come join us for great art, good friends and a beautiful day at the old cottage.

exit 11 Windward Pkwy off 400/head west for @ 6 miles/ turn left on Westbrook Rd
after Hopewell Baptist Church. Or Mapquest: 15825 Westbrook Rd Milton GA30004

Friday, February 12, 2010

Needlecraft obsession

Crafty women need to keep their hands busy. When I'm too tired to paint, I sit on the couch and watch my DVRed shows or ancient movies from before I was born. And that's a really long time ago....

This winter I have been obsessed with knitting hats. Plain old cloches/skull caps/watch caps. So many names for the same basic beanie. A few rows of ribbing and the rest is stockinette. I could do it in my sleep. No counting. No pattern stitches. Perfect for keeping my hands busy while my mind takes a little vacation.

I have been a beginner knitter since I was 12. It's fine with me not to know how to make popcorns and cables and fair isle patterns. I would have to concentrate on the work to do that. I like how I knit. My hands keep moving without much attention from me and at the end of an evening I have a new hat for a daughter or grandbaby.

I get my creative impulses satisfied once the hat is finished. I dig thru my collection of antique buttons and jewelry to find the perfect embellishment. Then I add some hand dyed silk ribbon or vintage velvet. It makes each hat unique and has my "signature" on it.

My mother taught me all the needlecraft skills I possess. She could sit in a dark movie theater and knit cabled sweaters. The little yellow sunshine caps in the photo are for all 3 of her great granddaughters. I know she's liking that a lot.

It's snowing in Atlanta tonight. That's a minor miracle and it feels extra cozy inside the cottage. A perfect night to start another beanie.

Post Show Thoughts

The Gift Show has been over for a month and I'm just getting around to posting about the big event. The booth came together in a way that I was proud of. It was great to see old friends - buyers and exhibitors alike.
It's the best part of exhibiting. Those relationships are treasured.
The show was pretty good considering the weather and the continuing hell of an economy. We have some exciting new things in the works that I'll be posting about when and if they come to be.

Good things from the show: Michelle Allen's work continues to amaze me - it has the same energy Michelle does. And I got to purchase some special jewelry from Angie Olami - her inspired work always enchants me, as I sit here looking at my "amore angelico" ring. And now I'm off to sort, organize and stock new inventory so we can start shipping orders. This is the not fun part!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I'm almost to the finish line for the Gift Show. Now if I can just do a snow dance that will keep it from snowing in Atlanta Thursday night. It never ever snows and sticks to the ground here. Never. But the night before the Show opens the prediction is for 1 - 2" of snow that's not going to melt immediately. We had rain dances and rain prayer vigils during the drought. I may be the only Atlantan praying for the snow to move to another city.

About the pictures posted: I used roofing paper/tar paper for the floor in my booth. It's cheap, sturdy and in keeping with my black and white theme. It looked too plain after I taped it down, so I took a white paint pen to it. Drawing on it was the most fun part of setting up. I'll post pictures of the finished space as soon as I can.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Art!

A sneak preview of a new favorite - I love the color and design and of course, the message.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

TO MARKET TO MARKET (to buy a fat pig?)

My little tin roofed cottage is home to much pre-market frenzy and planning.
The new art is painted and loved by me. Props and booth materials are piled in the car and at the door. Labels are printed, lists are written/crossed off and I can see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Now I just need a good night's sleep so I can set up tomorrow with lots of energy and good cheer.

Atlanta residents are lucky if they exhibit at the Atlanta International Gift Show. We can set up on Monday when no one is around, the aisles are not crammed with drayage, packing materials and stressed out exhibitors. It's quiet at the Mart and I can get it all done before the chaos begins. Sweet. (The process is akin to staging a Broadway show - out of a big old mess comes beautiful magical theater....)

As usual I love all the new images - kind of like the way I feel about my children. Can't pick a favorite. And that's as it should be. So much thought, feeling, time and work goes into each painting.

When they're all finished and signed I take them to the printer to be scanned. That way they can be reproduced in any format I choose. Tonight I was there with my 7 new babies. As each one showed up on the computer screen I thought of any number of changes I wanted to make/add/subtract to the image. Am I the only one who can never let go? Always tweaking and re-imagining. I wear myself out with that stuff.

I am excited about showing the new art and seeing my friends and buyers. It's like Old Home Week at camp. I'm looking forward to a new year that isn't all about the ecomony. Art was one of the first categories to feel the recession and I hope it's not the last to come back. Who doesn't need a little visual sunshine in their lives?