It’s all relative

June 13, 2021 – Mandala 2
June 13, 2021 – Mandala

Growing up on Long Island in the 1960s and early 70s, we often went to family get-togethers with my mom’s side of the family. One cousin, five years younger than me, was a gifted painter at an early age. These two pictures of Portia with her brothers (along with a younger cousin), and her parents were taken at our wedding in 1977 …

We wouldn’t see them all again until middle-brother George got married in Virginia.

Portia went on to pursue art studies at Cooper Union, Skowhegan, and the Mason Gross School of Art at Rutgers. All of which I know because she has been so successful in her professional life that she has a Wikipedia entry.

We haven’t stayed in touch over the years, but Instagram enabled me to catch up on her many accomplishments, after which I explored her website

Better late than never, I learned more about Portia and her art in a recent Woodstock-Byrdcliffe Forum presentation. She reminded me so much of her mother, Jay, both in appearance and her gentle manner of speaking. What struck me most, though, was how often she referred to what she was thinking while creating her art. I loved that.

I especially appreciated her mandalas of ephemeral flower petals surrounding birds killed by flying into the path of oncoming cars. They are both memento mori and commentary on the impact of human-wrought technology on nature. Terrible beauty.

And at the end of her Woodstock-Byrdclyffe talk, Portia mentioned that she will be installing a permanent exhibit at the 21C Museum Hotel opening in St Louis next year. That was all it took for me to finally reach out online. Hopefully we will meet again if our calendars and travel plans align.

Meantime, I made a mini-mandala of stacked stitching, learned from Jude, using Deb’s threads on black linen. But this patch may not be the one that I end up using … I had way too much fun to stop with just one.

Ring of fire

June 10, 2021 – Imitation, the sincerest form of flattery

My folks built a place out on Shelter Island when they retired in the 1980s. These days, it is my brother Art’s home-away-from-home.

Even though I haven’t been there since 2013 when we interred my parents’ ashes, I “visit” vicariously through the pictures my sister-in-law Diane posts on Facebook.

Thursday she posted a link to this partial eclipse photo in The Shelter Island Reporter

with my brother’s byline.

It was the next best thing to being there.

Process note:

I “paved” a piece of yellow linen with two strands of Deb’s thread worked in Jude’s split backstitch (today’s post coincidentally including both the sun and split backstitch) …

A dream come true

May 7, 2021 – A torn and tattered heart reimagined

I scrolled and scrolled to get to this post in Mo’s blog and her reply to a comment …

The rest is Kindred Spirit history, beautifully documented on Mo’s blog through the tag I dream of a world where love is the answer and in an online catalog of her resulting Artsite Gallery exhibit.

It was the online catalog that led Andra Stanton to send me an email inviting me to contribute to a book she was writing for Schiffer. I confess to being skeptical at first, but she included the title of her book, Dimensional Cloth, which convinced me to explore further.

Many emails and two years later, Andra’s latest book, How Art Heals, has now been published …

and the oddment from Mo’s exhibit, first written about in my original blog

appears on page 156 (where credit is incorrectly given to me for the first photograph, but was actually taken from Mo’s online catalog) …

All of which I find most amazing. So thank you Mo for making this possible … on so many levels. And to Old Man Crow for the words and music that carried us through. May we all continue to dream.