Thursday, July 3, 2014

Artistic endeavors

My heart wishes to one day reside in Tuscany. I long for it's incredible light, a truly magical light, artisans have flocked to for centuries. The ancient walled hill towns, Tuscany's rich harvest, the old olive trees and it's first cold press extra virgin olive oil. Greenish and fragrant, my preference. Through the abstract the hill towns of Tuscany form a heart seen from the air. Funny how my heart feels the calling... Since age three I have had a reoccurring dream of living with John in Tuscany. Reoccurring every October, refining the design details over my lifetime. I've even written a poetic fable of my desire and one day soon I will share it with you. Even if it is not meant to be in this lifetime I still dream... I still believe.

I faux painted an oxidized metal look to our dining room wall and inside the kitchens side and window wall. My painted wall's technique exhibits the colors that stir my emotions and gives me warmth and comfort. My favorite color is the nuanced tones of terra cotta and brick red. The olive branches in the vintage olive jar from the 40's give us a little bit of Italy smack dab in the city of brotherly love, faux of course. Throughout our home they appear, some in my hand painted branches on furniture, some just branches in vases and garland. A symbolic gesture of universal peace, ever since God gave Noah the sign after the flood that the water had abated, when a bird appeared to Noah with an olive branch in it's mouth.

In this photo I am directing you into our kitchen. Absolutely, hands down the room I spend the most time in. Truly the heart of our home as I am an avid cook who invents culinary adventures as fearlessly as I can. Crossing eyes, fingers and toes hoping they successfully turn out! To me cooking is just another form of my artful expression and honestly the way I show love to people I care about. My form of nurturing. 

This photo shows how I continued a painting technique into the kitchen that runs the dining room wall into the kitchen. A cream and grey checkerboard wall. It is actually 24x24 kraft paper pieces we cut down and I faux painted. We installed the squares with wallpaper paste to form the design. It runs the length of the dining room into the kitchen. John and I made a mirror from a trash picked glass paned cabinet sash. It is the 20th anniversary weekend (July 4th) of the mirror framed window. John walking to the bank spotted it on the curb on trash day and brought it home figuring we'd make something from it. We then crafted the frame surround and made an apron trim on the bottom.

On top of the window frame that John cut to replicate our doorframe I hand painted an olive branch. On top every one of those adorable miniature pitchers John and I over time collected on Sundays at our local flea markets.

A cast iron basement window gate my son gave me serves as our pot-rack. It is 200 years old and during a renovation in town some one discarded it for a modern replacement. Amazing, how someone would elect to trash the old for something new with no history, no legacy. We took it and had it chemically dipped, the metal is eroded which I enjoy, afterwards I applied my paint finish on it and John cut and bent all the hangers for me. 

The vintage from the 50's French license plate from Paris (the 75 designates that) is displayed behind the gates scroll work. I had originally planned to install it on our vintage Citroën DS Pallas car but realized it was missing the hole we needed for our 1972 model and purchased another one for our car and display this one.

I unexpectedly became a Poet on Jan. 1st, 2013. John and I headed up to bed around 1AM after celebrating New Year's Eve. During my nightly prayers (champagne induced prayers) I asked God for a new artistic endeavor, as I was once again feeling restless and needing to further express myself through my art. I awoke at 9AM with words flooding my head and instantly I knew it was time for me to once again pick up a pen. But, by the time I had gathered a pad and pen it, this mysterious journey of poetry had quickly vanished. I remember thinking wow that was a weird dream. Funny, but the next day once again poetic gathered words were racing through my thoughts and pulsating through my body and I was able to write/complete my first poem, seriously - my first poem ever. 

The creative process of writing was different this time around, because the words flooding my thoughts were rhyming and entirely a different emotional feeling and calling than when I had written a novel back in 1999-2001 "Destiny needs no rest". I finished it 6 months before 911 sadly changed our World sensitivities and understandings. Specially because it was about a special task force formed from the world secret agencies. My book covered the globe as it touched on terrorism, profiling, the witness protection program and discussed subjects that seemed too close to 911. Didn't parallel per say, but was close enough that I decided to shelf the novel. I even had after many, many, did I mention many rejection letters I was asked by a publisher for additional chapters to submit because they were considering publishing it. Although I honestly never wrote it for fame ... Seriously.

I painted a diptych to go with my poem below. Please read the poem and then view the close ups of my art. We have a 24 inch matte stainless steel picture ledge in the kitchen we purchased from Crate and Barrel that we alternate artwork on. Currently displaying my diptych of my poetry, each measures 9x12.

The poetry I wrote and share with you today is titled Abstractions. While writing it I was guided by my muse up above to challenge me to paint a diptych to express the emotions of the poem. An entirely new concept for me. Hate it? Let me know. Get it? Let me know. Understand my intention?  Please acknowledge it so I will know if there should be future poetry/art combos. So below is the poem followed by photos of my art.

For me it's a synergy, a whirlwind of ideas in different colors that arrive gathering in my creative thoughts like abstractions, often becoming a mind obsession. 
They awaken my senses and instantly I feel charged and alive, simply put, thinking in abstractions is the key trait in my ongoing artistic expression.

Emotions of sheer energy is what I intuitively receive daily, like energizing "whispers" that are heartfelt from a muse up above.
Gentle messages serving as my inspiration, mystically sent down to earth that encourages me to creatively strive thereof.

In my mind, color arrives and often times playfully collide, as if life expressions are whispered in a gentle shade of pastel.
But sometimes they arrive in vivid energetic colors that seem to shout to me it's message in a joyous life affirming colorful yell.

Realizing abstract expressions are often my next heart beat away and can feel like a time warp disguised in the meaning of thoughts lingering in the day.
Sometimes there are unexpected distractions that command my attention and cause me to focus my energies on other matters that lead me astray.

But even without intention or focused discipline the fulfillment of self expression is my life's ambition and driving force.
Clarity can suddenly appear as poetry or guided through a paint brush as my muse redirects me and I realize it's meant to run it's course.         

Throughout my many decades I have been artistically preparing to leave behind my legacy of my purpose driven life,
It's been a precious gift of self accomplishment while enabling me to sail through difficult times of strife.

© Vera

Two 9x12 brush painted on gallery wrapped archival canvas. I always finish all sides of my paintings in case someone wants to display it unframed. This painting is to demonstrate the synergy I received writing Abstractions.

This canvas demonstrates being swept into a whirlwind of ideas when colors collide.

close up

Hanging down from our kitchen beams are decorative lights John and I made. Two sets of them. We folded hand made art paper origami style and cut and put them onto strung White Christmas lights. They are lined with liner paper and then the handmade paper floats on top.

Enjoy a wonderful 4th of July as we celebrate our countries Independence Day. I'll be back to post in two weeks when I post about our vintage camera collection. Plus a little extra tribute.



  1. Vera, I will certainly be back later tonight to reread parts of your post that a I am so inspired by, infact I will reread all of your intoxicating artistic posting and poetic entry.
    Love your art style, so much feeling and emotion behind your work, of course I need a much larger home to house everything I like, so I just pick and choose my design battles and keep it calm.

    I so feel you with the whole Italy thing! Me too!!
    I will move there with you and john :))
    I am fascinated with your home style and brave approach to designing around it, the walls oh yes, the floors, the everything is who you are, what a moving job you would have, is this something you think you would do? A big move like this?
    I also, love hidden touches of Tuscany in my home, mixing it up with the French, giving it that European feel.

    Vera, you my dear are a force to reckon with!

    Lots of love to you and John.

    See you soon


  2. Vera, as always, I love to see pics of your home as every object is so special and meaningful! I've always wanted to visit Italy as my dad's family arrived from there. Amazing that you've had that dream for so long! Your words from 'Abstractions' are so vivid and passionate, and your artwork is inspired!
    Have a wonderful 4th, my friend :)

  3. Good afternoon Vera my dear! I just spent a great afternoon outside with Ruben, about synergy and MUSE! Nature speaks to both of us, and Ruben and I feel like children as we are outside to play.

    I love what you have done with your art. It takes yet another level of understanding to combine paint and poetry, and I have not arrived there yet. I am still working on my own poetry! But the feel you have captured in both paintings definitely provides a visual for your diction. What would we do my dear friend, without this art? I believe that each of us is gifted with a measure of creativity and without that, there is a hole in our being. The fun part is filling it in with edifying forms that elevate nature, a forgotten circumstance, each other.

    Thank you for your gifts that you share. MUCH LOVE (and, you and John are like me and Ruben...always, always creating something for our home!)


  4. Vera,

    I would never have guessed that Tuscany is a dream destination of yours...but now as you share in this post, I see it. The warm color palette of your row home has even deeper meaning now. As for your Abstractions in art and poetry, I get it!!!! I recently finished a post (its in draft) for a link party that I will be joining next week in which I share more about myself as an Abstract Painter. Of course I will always encourage you to continue on, follow your heart in your creative expression. Art doesn't have to make sense to everyone, but most artwork does have depth of meaning behind it. Mine usually does. A true artist is go forth freely in all aspects of your art. Let the colors and feeling come forth.

    I hope you and John find yourselves in beloved Tuscany one day, if not to live, but to stay awhile. Dreams do come true. xxo

  5. and thank you for sharing your heart and soul with us. xx

  6. Dear Vera,
    First, I absolutely love your faux oxidized metal painted wall. It has such warmth. Your abstract paintings.... When my eyes connected with the paintings I felt such raw emotion in your brush strokes... Abstract I find, is difficult to render, but you have two outstanding pieces here.. I have only painted one abstract, and still remember sitting for hours gazing at a blank canvas before I was able to put brush to canvas. Bravo dear friend. Your paintings are a perfect visual for your Abstractions poetry.. May I say it's like the left hand holding the right... Does this make any sense?
    I would also love to travel to Tuscany... My heart is in the hill towns... For me, it will have to be just a dream.
    Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring art and poetry, and your beautiful home.
    Have a wonderful fourth dear friend,

  7. Vera,
    This is beautiful. Your words and art come together and give expression to each other. Loved this very much. Ohhhhhh to live in Italy I so hope this becomes part of your journey in this life. How wonderful that would be. Happy 4th my wonderful friend.

  8. Have a wonderful holiday weekend, my friend !!!

  9. You are an extraordinarily gifted woman, Vera! Your heart, soul, and mind contain so much depth, bursting forth through your poetry and art. I love being stretched to view the world in the abstract and through your eyes.
    Tuscany sounds heavenly...I just have a feeling you'll see that dream come true one day.
    Mary Alice

  10. I read your post on Thursday, but I was on my iPad and have difficulty commenting on the iPad.

    Beautiful words . . . beautiful art . . . beautiful home.

    The words will be read again and again and I will take away a little something different each time.

    One day, I will visit your beautiful home to see the checkerboard walls in person. You and John have created a wonderful haven and I can picture your kitchen filled with friends - laughing, drinking, eating, talking and solving the world's problems.

  11. What an inspiring post, Vera with your words and your art. Tuscany is such a beautiful place and I know that one day you'll be there!

  12. Dear Vera,
    Thank you so much for visiting me again... I am sorry it has taken me so long to et back to you... Have had trouble leaving you a comment.. I hope this takes.
    I look forward to your next post...
    Bless you dear friend, have a wonderful week.

  13. SISTA!!!!!!

    Good morning, Vera! Thank you so much for coming to visit my newest post. I enjoyed adding some of my own photos (the header, me under the little bridge in Italy) and gathering up all the names so far for the party. I had planned to not do it this year, but I felt compelled, but I certainly will not do it next year. Enjoy however, the fun links that I'm sure will delight you (watch for Penny and Heidi, for sure)

    Enjoy another relaxing summer day dear friend. Anita

  14. Thank you Vera for taking the time from your weekend trip to indulge my week ness for arranging and rearranging things in my home, as well as reporting a piece and adding to it to recreate a needed look to my kitchen. Now the one and only safe place for the French Rocco mirror is laying on my spare office room floor with odd pieces in that room the makes no sense to being in there Yikes!!
    Well now I move more pieces to fit it in this small cottage or I sell a couple of pieces, or tear them apart turning the mirror into better use where it does not have to hang on a lower wall but lean on top of a furniture piece....geeze! Could I have done this during the week so I could have freed up my weekend of pleasure instead of house work mess now?

    Listening to some good music if you know what I mean...Lol !

    Enjoy your weekend.

  15. That was an amazing took your readers from the safety of your kitchen to the raw energy of your new passion poetry! Loved your poem. If I were your editor, I would ask you to get rid of all the extra words and really unleash the essence of what you are abstracting. There is so much energy in the painting, and it is there in the poetry too...