Monday, December 2, 2013

New website, new Zazzle store...lots of creative chaos

Another rather long update... working on multiple things, now that the three kids are at school. My husband gave me an early birthday/Christmas gift: an art box with oils, watercolors, pencils and markers. It will be put to good use, believe me.

Lately, I've been drawing on my iPad, using the Made By Paper app. I've gone through a disturbing number of styluses (styli?) in the past 4 months. The fickle weather hasn't been good to my hands this season. Swollen joints aren't conducive to oil painting or delicate sumi-e. So quick sketches on the iPad have been my modus operandi this fall.

In October, my drawing "Jnana" was featured in the Creative Risings event in New York.. It was held at the See.me Exhibition space in Long Island City.I was so thrilled to be a part of that project!

My improved website has all the links to my e-books and on-line galleries here
 http://8thshotespresso.yolasite.com/  "Snow Falling on Chimes", my second e-book of Japanese poetry is now available as a free PDF download (link under "PDF Downloads"). Have a look at my Zazzle Panel too...it links directly to my art store. (http://www.zazzle.com/8thshotofespresso). I'm adding new notecards, greeting cards and postcards every day, so check back often. Christmas is right around the corner!

What's on the agenda for the near future? More shots of espresso, more paintings, and more poetry to come. That is, if the holiday chaos doesn't get too chaotic...

Annie


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Not dead...just working on new projects. :-D

Yeah, I haven't been really good at keeping up to date, but I have a good excuse. Really I do.

I've been working on various creative projects. This on top of getting the kiddos ready for school (August 26 is D-Day. Two more weeks...two more weeks...), including clothes-shopping, going to various doctors (autistic kids + dentist. Oy.) and school supply shopping. Of course, the school system still hasn't let us know if Sarah is approved for pre-K or not, and they were supposed to tell us by 31 July. >.<

In the midst of all the chaos, here's a look ahead:

1) Designing two covers for two new poetry collections. "A Menu of Childhood Dreams" and "when the rain falls". The first is a collection of children's poetry. The second consists of poetry written while dealing with chronic illness.

2) Re-formatting all my work on Smashwords so it can also be available on Amazon, Kindle, Nook, etc.

3) Planning my entry for the #twitterartexhibit in Orlando. It will be a postcard-sized piece of art, and all profits will benefit the Special Needs Classes at The Center for Contemporary Dance. If you're interested, details are here. The curator is Robin Maria Pedrero.

So life has been really busy, but stay tuned for new developments!

Annie


Monday, July 22, 2013

Friday, July 19, 2013

My 'Art Takes Paris' portfolio on See. me

New additions to my #Art Takes Paris portfolio on See.me!

Stop on by and check it out! If you like what you see, please vote at the top of the page. Every one is much appreciated! Thanks!

http://artistmum1.see.me/atp2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Writer's Challenge. Tag you're it!

The rules... Go to Page 7, 70, or 170 of a current Work in Progress or recently published work and choose either the first complete paragraphs or 7 lines of dialogue to share. Paste it and tag 7 other authors to do the same...

Uh...if you want to try this, go ahead. (tag)

***

Here's from an unnamed WIP:

"Is he any good? Can he keep them in line?"

"He's a 6'4 former cop from Brooklyn. Shot twice and left for dead. And before all that, he was an Army Ranger. Iraq and Afghanistan. That good enough for you?"

J.T. blinked, blinked again. A slow smile passed over his face. "That'll work."

Ariadne shrugged and leaned back in her chair. He appreciated that no-nonsense attitude, but still shivered when she focused her sightless eyes upon him. For the first time, he wondered what she really saw through those sensory implants. Was he simply a computer-generated blur, with temperature shading and up-to-the-minute updates on his vital signs? Did she even know he was more than that?

"And he works for you now?"

"Not directly, not anymore. At the moment, he's across the pond, assisting Detective Inspector Rowan with a little problem."

"Domhail Rowan. I'm surprised he's still with Scotland Yard." At Ariadne's blank look, he added, "I mean, after that thing with the Sgian Dubh."

Black Knife. J.T knew he'd probably mispronounced the Scots Gaelic, but Ariadne understood it all the same. She gave him a knowing look.

"It would have been a shame if they'd sacked Rowan at the time. In any case, Rowan's the only one who can keep Major McGuire in line."

He raised his eyebrows as she added, "So far. I'm expecting that you and McGuire work together. not like each other. There's more at stake than your precious egos. If you don't get that now, it'll be the last thing you'll ever learn."

Monday, July 15, 2013

"Do Not Disturb" Sign


Do Not Disturb Sign
gouache
Copyright 2013 by A. Dameron

This was painted during the Story of Mum (#somum) Make Date.. They are held once a month (second Wednesday of the month). We chat through Twitter and make a creative item during the session. The group is based in the UK, but the members come from all over.

Check out more signs here and visit the Story of Mum homepage here

Friday, July 12, 2013

Check out my portfolio for 'Art in Paris' on see.me

Check out my portfolio for 'Art in Paris' here:

http://artistmum1.see.me/atp2013 

Stop on by and say hello. Votes are much appreciated! Thanks! 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Story of Mum Virtual Mini Exhibition: My Take on Mumhood

I'm honored to share my virtual mini exhibition for Story of Mum: Mums making an exhibition of ourselves. I am an artist and a writer as well as a mum. As mothers, it's not often that we feel seen, heard and valued. Yet our everyday stories matter, and sharing them can inspire others. 
Story of Mum: Mums making an exhibition of ourselves is a touring program of exhibitions and events in galleries and online that aims to put mothers in the spotlight. The exhibition celebrates motherhood, explores the impact of mothering on our identities, and encourages mums worldwide to share their stories in words, photos, collage and film. Parallel to the real life events, a virtual exhibition is travelling round the world, stopping for mini exhibitions on blogs - like this one!
Find out more at www.storyofmum.com/exhibition.

Participants are asked to choose one item from the existing exhibition, create one item to add to the exhibition, and share their thoughts on these and their identity in motherhood. So here's my exhibition!

I Curated This

This is from the I'm a Mum and a...collection. Mothers finish this sentence with a homemade sign and take a picture of it. I picked this picture because it definitely describes me on a daily basis. I am a Mum and...


There are days when I really don't want to get up in the morning. Seven years ago I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. My joints and muscles hurt constantly. I describe the pain like listening to a low-level frequency that's just below your hearing threshhold. All. The. Time. 

Add kids to the mix, especially with two on the autism spectrum and the youngest, an energetic four-year-old. Somehow I manage to find strength through my kids. Even during the most painful days, they give me courage to go on.

And another "I am a mum and a..." photo that speaks to me:


I can be a mum and creative too!

I Created This:

I also added my own contribution to the Mum's Poem: "NASCAR driver to doctors appointments."

I live in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA and car racing is a big thing here.(And yes, I do watch Top Gear on BBC America!)  We have 2 major races a year at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. EVERYONE drives like they are racing drivers! When your child needs to see the doctor, your inner Dale Earnhardt Junior kicks in, and the family van becomes "#1MUM".

My Mum's Poem:

Every day I see myself as:

overwrought, frazzled and shouty
stumbling tweeting loon
underpaid and overworked

But then I look at my kids and I realize I am:

a peacemaker
an umbrella holder for life's showers
a listener, teacher, protector.

And most of all, I am a

Giver of Life.

My thanks to Pippa at Story of Mum for the invitation! I had fun curating and creating!













Monday, July 8, 2013

What do I Think of? (A Noodle Doodle)


This was inspired by the Noodle Doodle project on the Story of Mum website. Here's what I think about:




Thinking Way Too Much
digital (Made With Paper, Paper 53)
Copyright 2013 by A. Dameron

in no particular order: Sarah with her red parrot, Christina, a green Lego block, chocolate, coffee, Michael, the Chinese character for 'children', smashed eggs, a red vacuum cleaner, my iPad, a vial of medicine, the caucedeus (snake-and-rod for medicine, doctors), dollar signs, ink and paintbrush.

And as a mum, I'm ALWAYS thinking too much. 


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A trip to the North Carolina Folk Arts Center

Yesterday, we drove to the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway. From Charlotte, you drive north on I-77, then west on I-40 towards Asheville. The place is actually off the Blue Ridge Parkway, mile 382. There's free parking and free admission. We'd been there before, years ago, before we had all 3 kids. It's a two-story building dedicated to art from the Southern Highland Craft Guild. The Guild is dedicated to preserving craft traditions in the mountains of North Carolina, and expanding creative works.

Sarah seemed enthusiastic about the art, especially the quilts ('blankies', as she called them). Her favorite piece was one of a huge moose made of metal (?!). She loved the wooden dolls and spinning wheels, and the hand-knitted clothing. Of course, when we were in the gift shop, she made a beeline for the stuffed toys. Sorry, sweetie; we don't need a huge stuffed moose in the house.

I grabbed several photocopied-and-stapled guides to the various materials that were used in the exhibits. There are six categories: metal, wood, glass, clay, fiber (both natural and man-made) and natural materials (including plants, gourds, pine cones and seeds). The guides had lists of specific jargon for the mediums (like faille, ikat and trapunto for fiber art) and a brief history of the various techniques. Very interesting, especially since the only one that I've done a lot of is clay.

We had an adventurous (if somewhat hair-raising) journey on the Parkway and down to Marion, NC. It was raining off and on, and thick mist shrouded everything. Visibility was limited to just past the hood of the car. We made it safe and sound, though, and got back to Charlotte in one piece.

If you're ever on the Parkway on the NC side, stop by the Folk Art Center. It's worth the trip.

Annie

Friday, June 28, 2013

Unexpected (but joyous news!)

I am a member of See.Me, a site for creatives to showcase their work. The group includes photographers, fiber artists, painters, etc. Some of my work is here: https://artistmum1.see.me/

Last week, I received an unexpected e-mail from Emily, the community director of the site. She wrote that my work had been selected for a special exhibition "The Story of the Creative"! It will be in their digital exhibition space at their museum in New York City. (26-19 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, NY, 11101) The exhibition will run from July 26-September 10, 2013.

I was surprised and thrilled by the offer. This isn't the first time I've displayed my work. Eight years ago, I submitted two paintings to an art gala sponsored by Charlotte's International House. The actual showing was in a rented space above some stores in the SouthPark area of town. (If you're local, it was off of Sharon Road. Pretty nice place.) I remember having to take my heels off and slip on some feet covers before I could wander the halls. There were some tasty hors d'oevres, and lots of wine. (Being pregnant with my older daughter at the time, I skipped the wine). It was a definite thrill to see my work hung on the wall with other artists, to see my name printed there.

The second time I displayed my work was at The Last Word Bookstore in the University Area of Charlotte. They buy and sell used books, videos, and DVDs. They also support local artists, including one that knits hats for display and one who makes natural soaps. Their art display area is relatively small, but I asked to display a few of my pieces for a couple of weeks. They were gracious and allowed me to do so. It's possible to hold actual art showings there, too. I haven't gotten the nerve to do that yet.

For a long time, I told myself that I was drawing and painting for myself. I still am, but it has taken me nearly 10 years to build up the confidence to show it to the world. I'm still terrified of what people will think/say/do when they see my work. I have had a grand total of one formal art lesson, and that doesn't count Art I in the eighth grade.

I hope this exhibition will be awesome. Stay tuned for more news about it.

Annie


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Intro: A New Hub of Blogs or AKA "Another One?!"

This actually isn't a new blog. This was the address for my art gallery 'An Eighth Shot of Espresso." That one is now here: http://8thespressoart.blogspot.com/ I'll still post my art there, but this blog will consist of mostly creative posts and other projects during my 'third shift' of being a creative mum.

My kids are now home for summer vacation, so it's even more of a challenge to squeeze in time for painting or drawing. Lately, I've employed the 'if you can't do it, let 'em join you' idea. My two girls are thrilled to have their own watercolor paints from the dollar store. Christina, who is autistic, goes crazy over her finger paints. She has sensory issues and often ends up playing with water in the sink (or places where it really isn't a good idea, like the bathroom). With the finger paints, she can enjoy the feel of it on her hands and fingers and IT'S OKAY. :-D

I'll post the occasional masterpiece from the girls on this blog, and any creative sparks, ideas and excerpts here.

Looking forward to chatting with everyone.

Annie