Monday, December 10, 2012

Moving On

This is the last post on this blog location. It's a long and boring story.
Before I became so tech savvy (not), my sweet daughter created this
blog for me. Now that I can (barely) figure it out for myself, I need to
have my own big girl blog
So I will be shutting this one down.
Same stuff. Different location.
Thanks for reading my ramblings and come on over to the
new location!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Iris Apfel and Being Yourself

I keep seeing Iris Apfel here and there in the media.
She is definitely worthy of the coverage.
I think she's in her late eighties or early nineties.
Still out there, being relevant.

I remember seeing her at the NY Gift Show a few years ago.
Our booth was on the Pier.
( I loved being able to walk to the far side of the building
and seeing the aircraft carrier, Intrepid, out the window.)

The Intrepid is huge and awe inspiring.
Kind of like Iris, but she's not huge.

Back to the Gift Show. 
Iris and her husband stopped at the booth across from us.
Chris sells one of a kind vintage Suzani rugs. Anthropologie, ABC
Home and Jonathan Adler vie for her time and rugs.
Iris strolled by, stopped to inspect the goods and decided
she wanted one particular Suzani.
She wanted to have it made into a shawl.

I love love that kind of thinking outside of the box. Taking the joy in her
individuality and style. We tend to choose the safety of Pottery Barn decor
and Gap dressing. It all matches and you don't have to think much.
Your friends will approve because they've seen it before
and it's safely acceptable.

The same is true of art and painting. It's easy and profitable to paint images
 that we see everywhere. Put a bird on it, as Carrie and Fred say.
The true self expression is in finding your own "Suzani".
Taking an idea that charms and appeals to you and running free with it.
It takes courage.

Iris Apfel has had her own show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's
Fashion Institute.Pretty cool.
That kind of individual style inspires me to try
and follow my own path and passion.

Think about it.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Catching Up

It's been a busy summer and fall. We just got back from the most awesome cross country vacation. We drove thru 15 states and clocked 4000 miles. Visiting the National Parks was just the best kind of getaway. Arches, Zion and the Grand Canyon. The frosting on the cake was a day in Santa Fe and a visit to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. Now we're back home and happy to be here.
I love what I do, I love my house and home. I'm very blessed.
Getting space and time out of the studio always provides new perspectives. I am not painting
canyons and mesas. But I have lots of ideas I want to try that popped into my head while on
the road. I have to say, nothing feels more luxurious than being the passenger on a long ride.
I get to read and nap and sketch. Sometimes, I knit. It's the little things, right?
 Saturday and Sunday I'll be at the Norcross Festival in downtown Historic Norcross, GA.
It's a great family show - you can check it out at

Larry and Lady Bird

Larry Bird and his best bud, Lady Bird came to
 life last week in the studio. Larry is on the right.
He's a boy. Of course, he's taller
Birds keep showing up in my work. More and more
birdies. Different shapes and sizes. I'm not sure why
I am so enamored of them right now. I do know that I like
 how I can divide up their bodies into any kind of design and paint them
in fanciful colors .Most of the time they can fit into blank spaces
 on the canvas and create color and movement.
 Lord knows, I abhor a vacuum.
Also, they remind me of Fred and Carrie in Portlandia, putting a bird on it.
I used my complete supply of vintage yardsticks to
make the frames. I love them. I find standard frames
 plain and boring and lacking in creativity. The
un-standard frames I favor just have so much more character.
 Larry and Lady will be on display
at the Country Living Fair  in Atlanta next weekend -
October 25, 27 and 28 at Stone Mountain Park
in Stone Mountain, GA. This is the most fun and
inspiring show I do each year. No disrespect to
the other great shows I do. I love each
of them. ( Otherwise I would not expend the sweat,
lack of sleep and energy that it takes to set up and sell
 my wares at each and every one. )
It's just that Country Living has it all. It's like the magazine
has come to life and you can talk to and buy from the
lovely glossy pages. I know. It sounds a little weird.
But it's true. This year they have pre-sold tickets to the
show in 42 states. Yes. That's 42 states. Women fly
and drive into Atlanta from all over the country. They
know why they want to get there and see it. The energy
created between the buyers and the creative vendors
is the best. One big happy family. If you can make it,
come on out and see us. You can check out the show
 Larry and Lady Bird will be happy to see  you.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What We Pay Forward

I've been in the studio a lot for the past two weeks.
"Stitch" is a new collage/mixed media piece that I
just finished. It's a tribute to the way life used
to be. Thrifty and practical were traits to be proud of.

My Mom had them in spades. She was a child of the
Great Depression. My Grandfather was a plumber back
then and he always had work and income. Her family lived in 
Gloria Swanson's  house in those days. A family of seven
 and they used  half the house.
 I loved the stories of those days when I was little. 
 The lessons of that era were ingrained in my mother.
 We remade and recycled and saved. It was a virtue.

Most of my dresses were made at the sewing machine.
We'd go to the local five and dime ( a non-existent
retail concept now...) and pick out a pattern and
fabric. At home she'd clear the dining room
table and lay out the fabric, pin the pattern and
cut the odd shaped pieces out. The sewing machine
would be set up and a pretty new dress
emerged from the presser foot.

I don't think this tradition will see a revival
any time in the near future. I want to honor
my Mother and those rituals that are gone.
Many of the needlework projects that she
made for her family are still being used and loved.
She lives on through these things. Her legacy
is honored this way.

Midsummer Thoughts

It's been a busy Spring and Summer here. As it is for everyone - I tend to get
lost in the details and lose my overall focus - making sure I keep a presence
in cyberspace. I've felt like being quiet which is definitely bad marketing.

These months have been bountiful. Four grandchildren marked another birthday.
On Friday we welcomed our seventh - a beautiful little boy, Matteo David. He's
healthy and doing great. And I love that name. As our 7 year old grand Ella says -
" His name is Italy-ish." Italy-ish fits right into a family whose ancestors carried
the names Antonucci and Arcidiacono.

Tomorrow I leave for our annual family reunion/celebration. I feel so blessed.
I have work that I love and a happy healthy family that wants to be together
whenever we can. After the tragedy in Colorado I am more grateful than
ever for my ordinary life and all it's blessings. Grateful for my little wings
 that work hard to keep me aloft.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Decatur Arts Festival

Both of these collage pieces sold this weekend at the Decatur Arts Festival.
Despite the 90+++ degree heat, it was a great show. I got to meet lots of
interesting folks and see old art friends. The image below is a 40th anniversary present for someone's parents who are 70. They must be pretty hip. I love knowing who is going to live with my art. 99% of the time I think the art and the buyer are a perfect match.

This jpeg is a detail of the collage that I titled " The Proposal".
It was gratifying to sell a bunch of the collages. They're a little quirky but
Decatur gets quirky. I love doing collage. It's even better to know that
I can SELL collage. I'll be setting up shop at the Virginia Highlands Summerfest
on Friday. Another very hot weekend to come. Looking forward to the fun. It's a
great show in one of my favorite Atlanta neighborhoods.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Back on the Road Again

Leaving on Friday for Chattanooga and Who Fest. This is my first time at this show and I am excited about being there. Never been to Chattanooga and I hope I get some free time to explore the city a little. The show is set up in a waterfront park - how could it be bad?

I am so ready to get on the road! I missed the Gasparilla show when I got sick the day I had to leave. So the art is still packed up, the tent is at the ready - I just have to pack my clothes and sunscreen.

So much art to show - for the first time I'm not worried that I don't have enough work for a show. Finally, I have too much. I can't wait to get some feedback on the new collage work and my beloved tarpaper art. There is nothing like getting out of the studio and my comfort zone. Hanging the art outdoors and waiting for buyers to show up is what it's all about.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

New Possibilities

 I have a new obsession. Thank God. I was feeling very stuck in my painting. Thus, many collages were produced. (Not that that's a bad thing...) Collage was much less confrontational than the painting. And I love the images that were created.

Then came the Golden Workshop with it's brain-bursting curriculum of possibilities. They even sent me home with a goody bag full of product I never would have bought.

The instructor spoke of how the gel mediums can act as
protective barriers. I still had a roll of roofing paper collecting
dust and cat hair in the studio. I wondered what would happen if I sealed the tar paper with the gel medium. It was awesome. I got a textured surface to paint on without losing the rough canvas-like surface of the paper.  Oh, my goodness. You can scratch into it. You can sandpaper it.
You can cover mistakes in a heartbeat. I am in love.

This is my first painting - "This Is Your Brain on Art".
It makes me so happy to look at. It's everything I was trying for - on wood or board.
 Looser, more nuanced color and a sense of whimsy.
The image at the top is the last one I finished. Love it.

And now the challenge is presentation. I cannot figure out how they look best.
 Nailed onto painted plywood panels?
In a frame, mounted on matboard with a plexi cover?

Presentation has never been an issue for me and right now that's what I'm wrestling with.
I will figure it out.
Maybe an online contest for best look would be a
good idea.

Right now I am just in love with roofing paper and it's possibilities.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cutting and Pasting

The studio  has been cleaned and rearranged for maximum
creative output. I hope. It sure looks better and I can walk
around without getting bruised by something. More shelves
are up and it's easier to access all my collections (junk).
Pictures will be posted when it looks like I want it to look.
I did make great curtains out of old linens that I love.

My painting style is changing and making me uncomfortable.
I don't even want to talk about that until I can figure out where
 me, my paintbrushes, gel mediums and graphite are going.
Right now the combination just makes me unhappy.

The junk collections never fail to inspire me. I got a pile of new
frames from the ever-inventive Philip. They begged to
have some paper and pictures laid down on them to tell a story.
The stories pour out with no fuss. I love how they
pass thru me onto the surface.

This is " All You Need Is Love" - above and detail below.
 A yummy vintage lime green bookcover, map,
 printer's type and a picture to warm or break your heart.
 Not sure.

I'm signed up for two workshops this week. I am
so excited. I've wanted to learn about encaustic for
years. And a Golden Artists Colors Workshop on
using their different mediums. This will either open
the gates of painting again or make me crazy.
I'll let you know.
At the very least, I think the workshops will be perfect
for some inspiring Instagram moments.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Honey Bunny

Mr. Honey Bunny. Man of my dreams.

I brought two new collage pieces to one of
my mentors. She was in love with them, much
to my surprise ( as always.... questioning
the work in my head ).
 She encouraged me to make more, make them bigger.
 Just to fly with it.
 Which, of course, is kind of paralyzing for me.

So Mr. Honey Bunny is small and took forever
to finish. I like him, though.

Trying to think and imagine BIG. It's like
running a 5K after spending months in a
gym lifting weights. The 5K muscles are
really sore and you thought you were
in good shape....

My BIG collage muscles are just puny.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I believe that artists are extremely susceptible to new toys and media.
For sure this artist is.
Not the information kind of media - the kind that you can play with.
Gel medium, modelling paste,glazes and some awesome soft squishy stuff
that can substitute for a hard linoleum block. I found these neat
rectangles at my favorite place to browse - Dick Blick.
 ( How lucky am I to have a Dick Blick in my town?)
 I know they must have a name but I don't know it.
 They're gray, pliable and only $1.69 for a 4" x 6".

I love the look of block printing - the primitive and handmade
qualities. I tried carving a couple of traditional blocks. My hand hurt
and they didn't print very well. These gray babies are easy, fast
and print like a dream.

I've started with words. That's where I always start - whatever the
project. I have 6 images that I'll be posting on Etsy. This was my first
one. It's for Ella, who fervently believes in the existence of fairies.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Violet the Cat

Just another day in the studio. I bet you all think that
I get to determine how my day and my painting goes.
Ya know, since it's just me down there. The person who
bought all that paint, that easel, those canvases. You'd
think that person would get to be the boss of that space.

And you would be wrong

. Because Violet is the CEO  of Kathleen Taylor Studio. 
She lives there and I just visit - for 8 to 10 hours at a clip - 
 but still not a full time resident.
 Apparently that makes Vi the Tony Soprano of
my little work space.

This is a picture of us today. The background is the
painting I'm trying to finish. The red is my sweatshirt/stomach
 which Violet has decided is the perfect spot
for some bonding time. Her tail swishes and flicks over the palette,
picking up blobs of paint that she deposits on the
painting.  Have you ever tried to tell a cat
what to do? Cats wouldn't listen to the
voice of God if it was accompanied by thunder and lightening.

I never thought I'd say this, but dogs are easier.
Occasionally they listen to me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Good Music

My little Italian mother played the mandolin.
My little Italian grandmother had all her daughters play instruments.
Together they formed "The Arcidiacono Sisters", a trio with a 15 minute
radio show in White Plains, NY in the 1930's.

Mom could play all the traditional Italian songs on her mandolin. My
brother and I grew up thinking that " The Tarantella" was a nursery

She tried to teach us both to play. My brother (overachiever that he
is) learned quickly. I had absolutely no ear or interest. But I still
love the sound of a mandolin. Oh, the memories.

After my Mom passed I inherited the instrument we grew up with.
It hangs on my dining room wall. My granddaughters think it is a
cool guitar.

In reality, the world's coolest guitar shares space with the vintage mandolin.

In 1969 I began a life long love affair with James Taylor.
I walked into the bookstore at SUNY Oneonta and saw his album.
( Vinyl and record player ready..)
How could I not fall? He had the same name as my charming
Irish father and he was CUTE. Once I heard his music, I was done for.
I went to as many concerts as possible over the years.
He became the soundtrack of my life.

For my birthday The Overachiever gave me the most amazing present ever.

He was at a fundraiser with an autographed James Taylor guitar up for bid.
He was determined to get it for me and he did.
It took me weeks to actually take it out of the box. I felt like Julia Roberts in
"Pretty Woman" when Richard Gere gives her the jewelry.

I still can't believe I have a fancy guitar that James signed.

I love that he and my Mom are sharing
the same space. Good music is universal.

They both played the soundtracks of my life.

Thanks, Brian. I got the best brother. Ever.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Working B-I-G !

I feel like I've got it now! Painting on bigger surfaces is
not an insurmountable challenge.

The first big painting was a real struggle. Hated it -
 maybe not hate, but definitely not loving the finished work.
 I carted it to my local gallery. It was in the
gallery for less than a week when a couple came in and fell in love.
 I'd like to say they bought it and happily took it home.
 But really, they loved it, went home, measured for it and then
called the gallery and made a very lowball offer. It's not a garage
sale, folks..... So it's still in it's gallery home.

Determined to try it again, I got another panel out and
started a new one. This went so quickly and easily that
I am now a B-I-G painting convert. This is my latest -
titled "The Rescuer" in homage to all the good people
who take time to find homes for homeless animals.
She is 30 x 40 on a wrapped gallery canvas.

Here she is. I am happy with the finished work.
Whoa... something must be wrong. I'm never satisfied.
I'll wait and see if I'm still in love with her in the morning.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Back at the Ranch

My first passion will always be painting. ( Of course, that passion is always in competition with the grandkids. They are just so amazing to be with.)  But I digress. Running a very close second to being in the studio is being in the house. The living part of it. We bought a non-descript '80's ranch last year. It needed some cosmetic work but was in general good health. The sunshiney basement is bigger than the upstairs living space and that was my first project. Clean and open white space to work in. The space to live in is more of a challenge. I like to take my time and let the space tell us what it needs. It also takes time to figure out how we're going to live in the space. You know, where we'll relax, toss the mail and the keys, etc. One year down and I have some ideas. They keep morphing into different ideas. I like to wait until one visual stays in my mind for a while before I execute it. The pic on the right  is the temporary foyer look. It has a great slate floor, not so great scuffed beige walls and a 12 foot ceiling. I'm thinking stenciled walls or maybe fabric as wallpaper. The bottom vignette is the top corner of the dining room cupboard. The dining room is the first really finished room. I love it. Love the color on the walls and my old beloved furniture in there. That'll be my next post. As soon as I get some pictures I'm happy with I'll be back.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012



I haven't painted a person or a face in so long that
my skin toned paints are drying up. Dogs have been
filling my canvases. My good friend, Bailey Jack/painter
extraordinaire urged me to paint a woman holding a dog or a
chicken or a pig.....

This lady is holding a puppy. I love her face and I hope
the rest of the painting gives me the same pleased
feeling. I'll post the other two thirds when it's finished.

I started my painting career with people images. It
might be time to look at faces again.

Friday, January 20, 2012



This is my biggest painting ever. At 30" x 48", it's not even that big.
All my painting friends tell me that big is the way to go these days.
Big sells and we want to sell.

Jeez, did I struggle with this one. The composition confounded me.
I walked away from it many times. I'm so comfortable working on
table sized canvases that I can  hold in my lap. This was easel only
work. Getting the color and design right was a real challenge.
And frustrating.

I can tell when I'm finished with a painting. I set it on an eye level
surface and walk away. Then I turn around and look at it. If it
makes me happy and I can't find anything huge to critique, then
I'm done. Real scientific. I tried this method at least 6 times before
I got the happy feeling with this painting.

"Daisy Dog" is now in residence at Matilda's Gallerie in Roswell.

So glad this one is finished. Now that I've done it once, I know I can
do it again. On to a 3' x 3' or a 4' x 4'!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012



Another new year.

 More new painting.

Every time I stop painting and  start again,
new stuff appears. It might be a painting tool
or a shape I haven't used before.
I want my art to be loose and free feeling.
My background is in perfect lines and
shapes. I stuggle all the time to find the
imperfection in the lines I draw.
The art I love is wild, imaginative
and very free. With lots of great color.

This is  "Bandit" - a chicken or a rooster -
 honestly, I don't know the physical differences.
They all look like chickens to me.
This is as loose as I can get.

The new stuff is using lots of oil pastels on the
 painted surface. Am also carving rubber stamps
to incorporate in my paintings.
The star in the sky is a new stamp.

 I wish I could find giant white erasers.
They make the best stamps.