Sunday, January 13, 2013

I Am Moving.

I have made the big leap to a website on Wordpress.  You can now find me at

Friday, July 13, 2012

Freeze This Moment a Little Bit Longer

I got to spend the day with my son, Adam, today.  It was just the two of us.  Once upon a time there was a little boy who chattered constantly to me.  He smiled at all of my jokes.  He didn't care where we went as long as we were together.  I was his world.  
I have always had a pretty good grasp on the reality that my purpose as a mom is to prepare him to stand on his own.  That mandate starts at conception.  We feed and nurture and lead and teach and discipline with the goal of seeing them stand tall on their own and thrive.
He is eleven now, going on twenty-seven it sometimes seems.  The separating is beginning in earnest.  I am not his whole world.  I am still his mommy.  He still hugs and kisses me in front of his friends.  I have made him promise he always will.  We'll see.
I see the Holy Spirit at work in and through him.  It takes my breath away.  I bought him mens sized sneakers the other day and it emptied my wallet.  What a season of transition for both of us.  I am not sure it is bearable.
Lord, hold on to him when he breaks free from my grip.

"Time Stand Still" 

I turn my back to the wind
To catch my breath
Before I start off again.
Driven on without a moment to spend
To pass an evening with a drink and a friend

I let my skin get too thin
I'd like to pause
No matter what I pretend
Like some pilgrim
Who learns to transcend
Learns to live as if each step was the end

(Time stand still)
I'm not looking back
But I want to look around me now
(Time stand still)
See more of the people and the places that surround me now
Freeze this moment a little bit longer
Make each sensation a little bit stronger
Experience slips away
Experience slips away

I turn my face to the sun
Close my eyes
Let my defences down
All those wounds that I can't get unwound

I let my past go too fast
No time to pause
If I could slow it all down
Like some captain, whose ship runs aground
I can wait until the tide comes around

(Time stand still)
I'm not looking back
But I want to look around me now
(Time stand still)
See more of the people and the places that surround me now
Freeze this moment a little bit longer
Make each impression a little bit stronger
Freeze this motion a little bit longer
The innocence slips away
The innocence slips away...

Summer's going fast, nights growing colder
Children growing up, old friends growing older
Freeze this moment a little bit longer
Make each sensation a little bit stronger
Experience slips away
Experience slips away...
The innocence slips away

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Habit and Happy, etc...

May I make a confession?  I Struggle with this whole blogging thing.  I have never felt terribly eloquent in my wiring.  I fret over what to include in my posts.  I write then delete, write, delete, write delete.  Today, for example I am struggling with whether to talk about how hot it has been here for the last two weeks, and that our AC went out, but hat I have fared well, and am glad that the temps outside have cooled.  Do I talk about staying in the bus because it has air?  Do I share that my kids are in camp this week and I am getting a lot of alone time?  What can I share here that will capture the imagination of potential readers and dew them in so that they recommend me to their friends, and my readership grows, and I am loved by millions?  
So, I default to showing my art....
I have some new stuff!  Aren't they nice?

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Where in NC is Amy Smith?

June has been a whirlwind month for me.....OK, 2012 has been a whirlwind year.  I want to share the deeper story for you, but I can't seem to word it.  My last post was about chasing the wrong dream.  I have been frazzled and stressed and realized I lost my way.  I put the brakes on and decided to be deliberate and focused on connecting with my family.  I was ready to put my art on the back burner completely if that was the right thing.  Turns out it was not anything so drastic as that.  I am cutting waaaay back on shows.  I only plan to do 1-2 a year here in NC.  What is growing for me is my gallery presence.   That seems to be manageable pursuit while still being the best mom and wife I can be. 

So, I added two new galleries in June while on vacation on the Outer Banks.

The first gallery is a brand new business in Manteo, NC called the Art Village.  It is a tremendously cool location with multiple buildings around a grade/park/courtyard type area.  They plan to have all sorts of special events and classes there and I am really excited to be getting in right at the beginning.

The second new gallery is Island Artworks on Ocracoke Island.  This was my first time on Ocracoke.  My friend Jean Skipper  has been going there for years.  She swears that the island is magic, and I think she may be right.  I was just casually browsing at Island Artworks.  I wasn't even trying to show off my stuff, but my jewelry caught the owners eye and before I could get off the ferry over at Hatteras, she had emailed me an order.  Kathleen O'Neal  owns the gallery and is also a gifted metalsmith.  I am very pleased to be working with her.

While I was on vacation, I also delivered work to Pea Island Gallery in Salvo, NC.  I have been with Pea Island for a couple of years.  The gallery is owned by talented watercolorist Kim Robertson.  It is one of the most beautiful galleries I have ever visited, and I am tickled to be a part of it.

Where else can you find my work in North Carolina?

Swank Coffee and Handmade Market in downtown Southern Pines.  This is my hometown shop and I just love these girls.  Great coffee too!

Carolina Artists' Colony in downtown Sanford on Moore St.  Sandy, the manager, is the best.  This place is so full of art you could wander for hours.  They have a great NC food room too.   

Artful Living Group in Carolina Beach.  This gallery is just a block from the beach.  Great location and beautiful art.

and Just Be in downtown Greensboro.  Just Be has an eclectic mix of local handmade and imported fair trade items.  It is a visual feast.

 So, blessings abound.  It is possible to slow down and focus on what is important.  I am so grateful!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Somebody Else's Dream

There are days when I wish I had a crystal ball to look into my future and show me where my life is leading. Even better, I wish that I had “The Map” of what my life is intended to be, the path I was created to take.  I wish I had very specific step-by-step instructions to follow so I could be absolutely certain that I stay true to the course that was charted for me by the One who made me.  I have a TomTom in my car that tells me when a turn is coming and how far away it is, and which direction I have to go, and exactly the moment I am supposed to turn. Sometimes though, I find that I am on a road that my navigational gadget has no idea exists.  The screen shows a blue arrow traveling across a broad expanse of green nothingness.  The device recalculates over and over again, telling me to turn here, turn there, trying to get me back on course.  That is the path I am on.  
I have been chasing the dream, and I have it just in my grasp.  I have my art in 5 NC galleries.  I am invited to exclusive art festivals, my work has recently been published.  I am poised to pounce on the dream and ride it out.  I can have it all if I just grab it and work it.  I hesitate.  I take a closer look.  Slowly, a notion creeps up on me.  This is unfamiliar.  This place, these possibilities that are surrounding me.  I think I missed a turn. I am in unfamiliar territory, and I know exactly how I got here.  I haven’t been listening.  A small, quiet voice has been whispering to me that this thing I am chasing, this vision, this shining prize, is not meant for me.  I am in the wrong dream.  This is for someone else.  My path wandered off in another direction a long way back.  It is a wide path.  It is wide enough for four to walk shoulder to shoulder.  I can find it again if I double back.  I am going to have to drop some things that I have picked up along the way that will hinder my progress back.  My traveling companions are waiting there for me to continue our adventure together.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Today was a great studio day.  I will chalk that up to my inspiration reservoir being full after a lovely excursion with beautiful friends yesterday.  We finished up our day at the Fearrington Village Folk Art Show.  I am beyond inspired by what I saw.  Yes, I came home with artwork.  I am heading back up tomorrow to take Matt and the kiddos.
So, here is what came out of the studio today.....

They are pretty minimal for me, and that excites me.  You might notice that I am collaging again after a long foray into acrylics.  There is room for everything, right?

In the top image, the red graphic items are from hand carved stamps I made while hanging out with my art rock star girlfriend Jodi Ohl.  I am very blessed to have a solid community of like minded artists to play with and bounce ideas off of.

Short and sweet!  XOXO!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Printmaking Sunday with Baby Girl

Printmaking has been a love of mine for a very long time.  I remember that in high school art class, we carved linoleum blocks and printed with them.  This was, hands down, my favorite project of the year, and I even won a blue ribbon in a local art show with one of my pieces. 

I love to carve stamps.  I love to make stamps from fun foam.  I love stamping with found objects.  I love mono printing.  I love collagraph.  Screen printing intimidates me a bit, but after an introduction in class with Michelle Allen, I feel a bit more confident about giving it a go.

One of my favorite books on my art bookshelf is Printmaking + Mixed Media by Dorit Elisha.  I have nearly worn the pages out poring over the images, reading the instructions and imagining, imagining....
One type of printing I have long been interested in trying is gelatin printing.  The artwork produced in this way in Dorit's book is exactly my aesthetic.  I also ran across a good how to on the Sketchbook Challenge Blog recently. The clincher was that my sweet daughter was peeking over my shoulder and said "oh mommy can we try that?"  So we went for it.  The results follow.

I neglected to take a photo of our first application of paint to the gelatin, and I could not get a good image of the gelatin itself.  I made it in a shallow aluminum pan I bought from the grocery store.

This first image is the first print we pulled.  I learned quickly to go easy with the paint.  We cut heart shapes out of index cards to use as masks.  You lay them right on top of the paint, and that area will not print.  

We pulled a second print on a piece of canvas I had previously painted with some leftover blue paint.

This is what the gelatin looked after pulling the first and second print.  The heart shaped masks are still in place.

So Miss. M. pulled the "ghost image."

Here she is stamping into green paint on the gelatin.  Ain't  she cute?

A Sunday afternoon well spent.  Art fun with my baby girl and lot's of cool new printed papers to use in my artwork.