Holes in our Lives

StaciLouiseSmith beadsFirst I must apologize that I didn’t get a blog out on Saturday. My father took a turn for the worse on Friday and that same day most of my siblings along with my kids and grandkids arrived to help me celebrate my recent marriage. After much deliberation, we went ahead with the celebration as there was nothing we could do and it could be weeks before the inevitable with dad. We toasted to dad at my house Sunday only to find out that as we toasted, he passed away. I’m not sure how I feel yet. We did not have a good relationship most of my life but we were friends in the end. I think that makes this easier to take but harder to navigate as I don’t know what emotions may surface as the days go by.

I almost took the week off from blogging but decided it wouldn’t matter much. Work and art is what often keeps us going through the many ups and downs that life throws at us. Art is also, for me and many others, a very honest thing, and I think, when you have a complicated relationship with a person who figured hugely in your life, art can be a refuge, an exploration, and a comfort as one figures things out when they are suddenly no longer there.

Right now, I am not sad, rather, I am relieved as he’d been through so much the last few years. But there is a hole that I will have to figure out how to fill or to live with. I don’t mind holes … you can see things through them, revealing layers and depths and you can’t help but notice them. So this week, my posts might be short, I just don’t know yet, but I’ll post pieces where holes and spaces play a large part. And maybe we can all look at what these spaces mean to us.

So today, with holes and cracks and imperfections that I think all come together as pure beauty, I have a selection of focal beads by Staci Louise Smith. The various textures could symbolize the complexity of our lives and our emotions. I love the way the central swath of crackle looks like a horizon and is also the point at which the holes appear. There is a lot of metaphor we could pull out of pieces like these. That is the wonder and beauty of art, that the best of it let’s us read what we need to from it.

For more of Staci’s work, you can wander over to her website or spend some time on her blog.


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Encouraging Stories

agozonar-encourageOur profiled artist for the Winter 2016 issue is the delightfully enigmatic and poetic Alev Gozonar whose work is far less defined by the material than by the stories she has such an overwhelming desire to tell. She works predominantly in polymer if you are looking at the last few years but she takes many detours and one may even wonder if she’ll be wandering back this way at moments.

In the article we feature and discuss her pointillistic cane wall pieces but that is only one part of this ever exploring artist. The work you see here is water-color on paper with little wire and polymer people pushing up the painted shapes to reveal the white and words behind the painting. There is an obvious metaphor of revealing the ideas behind the work but the struggle of the little guys also brings to the forefront the idea of just how hard it is to convey one’s meaning. And, if you know Alev’s work, you know there has got to be a story in this — probably something personal or close to her. In any case, the muted color palette is just beautifully harmonious each open shape just begs you to examine it. I find it an irresistibly intriguing piece and did so wish we had room to discuss some of her pieces like this. But that is both the beauty and the shortcoming of a magazine format –you only have so much time to delve into the most interesting subjects.

Think of the articles as an introduction to subjects and ideas that serendipitously fall into your lap and do go investigate the most interesting ones further. If Alev’s stories and inspiration sparks your interest, go take a look at her beautiful website, especially the section on her book which you can read online (the English is next to the Turkish so don’t let the show of foreign words turn you away).


Inspirational Challenge of the Day: Pick up a magazine or scroll through Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram or whatever you have handy. Find something that really grabs you and do a bit of investigating. Keep a notepad or sketchbook nearby and start making notes on what you find inspiring. After you’ve done this, go play in the studio and let that inspiration help you start on your next project. If you detour from the inspiration, that’s fine. Just let it get you started and see where it takes you.


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