tales of an eight year old’s birthday party

So… I am a mom, I am a “nana”- I have taught art, and reading and well…. lots of things. I have been the guest speaker in many different venues, at community events, in front of board meetings, executive board meetings and more. NONE of this prepares you for an eight year old’s birthday party

I make it sound bad… nope. It was not. It was actually quite wonderful.  

We laughed, we painted, we played, we acted silly, we had cupcakes. 

How bad can it be? 

I am at that age where I worry that I have forgotten how to play with children. You know, you hang out with adults primarily and then you lose your short personness. What I needed to remember was simply that these little ones just wanted to create. They just wanted time with a paintbrush to create something beautiful. JUST LIKE ME. 

They wanted to laugh and giggle, and celebrate the young lady that invited them to share her day. (just like me) 

They wanted to (maybe not consciously) create a new memory, that they could hold on to, enjoy and celebrate, JUT LIKE ME. 

So either I am an 8 year old, or I still remember what it is like to celebrate a friend, create something beautiful and end with a smile. It’s simple really…. love and paint seem to marry well together. I am really excited to have been a part of this. 

I asked the “birthday queen’s” mom if she had a good time,

She replied, ” She did, it was perfect.” 

I asked if I could quote her, she said, “Absolutely!”

So here is to perfect art parties, eight year olds and sharing a little joy. It was a delightful day; I hope yours was too. 

Peace and great big huge love, 

Susan

Meet Brett Baker

The wonder of working in a business that you love is that you are able to share your mission, your heart, your work so darn easily. You share with friends, with strangers, with anyone who will listen really. I used to think that was intrusive, and nearly narcissistic, but I feel that I have this unique and wonderful opportunity and NEED to offer it to those around me. I feel that when we are where we are supposed to be in life; we cannot help but to share. 

In my day job, I am blessed to work with so many wonderful people. The thing about where I am now, and who I am is that you recognize that rarely is anyone what you initially see. Usually the surface you see in the working environment is just a smidgen of the real deal. 

One of the people I am blessed to work with is one of those people described above. He is definitely much more than initially appears. When I first met him, he spoke of things like his time on the ice, (loves hockey) his shenanigans in high school and his dare devil stunts. He made me laugh, always came to my aid when I needed something tech wise or phone wise and was an incredible support to my success at work. He is a good guy! However, As the layers peeled away, I began to learn so much about him. On the outside he appeared to be almost a sullen human being. The character of Eeyore comes to mind. This is not any way to be insulting, just my observation. 

In any case- Bruce (my friend and co-worker as described above) lives his life in a pretty matter of fact way. EXCEPT – when he speaks about his son. (yes this is actually not about Bruce, but you have to know the back story!) One mention of Brett (the wonder son), and my friend’s face lights right up. He softens, he’s sarcasm slips away, he glows with pride. It is a beautiful thing.

Bruce likes to play all rough and tumble, but honestly, he is a giant marshmallow when it comes to his son. He has pride, confidence and dreams for his son are apparent even without words. I believe that his faith is well placed. It is because of this clear confidence and pride that work unseen, I invited Brett to exhibit at the gallery. 

Brett Baker is a college student at RIT. He personifies that an art student. He is fascinated by form and function, he is one snappy dresser, and he has this confidence that only comes to you by hitting several walls and learning how to navigate around them. Artists by nature seem to need to travel through the muck, to get to their heart’s inspiration.

Brett has ideas, BIG ideas. He appreciates opportunity, he is enchanted with not only how a piece of jewelry feels to those who wear his designs, but also those who view. It is a collaboration of sorts, it is remarkable in one so young.

Brett has a quick smile and even quicker mind. He carries around his sketch book to note the countless ideas swimming around his head. His ideas surpassed the typical rather quickly. He jumped into some particularly sophisticated design. He doesn’t like using pre-made parts- he wants to create everything on his own, from raw materials.

I have no doubt that this his first exhibit will be the first of many, many exhibits. I encourage you to visit his exhibit, to really take in his work- to witness this new work and watch as it blossoms. It will be one exciting journey. I promise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 

Jodie Richardson Traugott

It is so interesting when you meet someone who shares an interest. They are a complete and total stranger, yet your passion for (in this case) trees seems to help you know them on an instant deeper level. Jodie Richardson Traugott is this person! How blessed am I that she was able to share her work with us! Jodie’s exploration of trees is a love of color and form.

It is fascinating to me how strangers can bond so quickly over something so common. I look forward to sharing her work with you. It will be up for the entire month of March!

Her exhibition opens next Friday evening at 6pm. PLEASE join us – meet Jodie and inhale her spectacular work! If you cannot make the opening, please try to make another date or make an appointment! 

See you soon!

Blessings, 

Susan

 

just checking in

I feel like I have been ignoring you a little too much of late. Please forgive me. 

know that so many good things are in the works. 

know that I APPRECIATE you- 

know that I am grateful and energized 

I will be in touch- Happy Saturday- with love & peace, 

Susan

Pay it forward!

On the 8th, I will be painting live at a networking event for Family First Credit Union- 

This is wildly exciting as I have never really done something like this other than painting at shows or exhibits. The painting will be auctioned off that night. The proceeds will go to Irondequoit Community Cupboard, who happen to be one of the charities I LOVE! 

If you are a small business and would like to come- please see the details in the flyer below!

Peace & love, 

Susan

The art of the next generation

So today, directly after work, I rushed to my gallery to let the art teachers of West Irondequoit School District into my studio. Their mission? To hang the work that they have so lovingly inspired and their students so courageously executed. 

For the next hour or so these teachers politely, yet  tenaciously hung the work, carefully chosen to represent the incredible art that is created at West Irondequoit. The work is fantastic. I KNOW I am SUPPOSED to say this, but honestly, it IS INCREDIBLE.

I have made art my entire life. I remember my heart skipping a beat over a new box of crayons. If it had a sharpener, forget about it! I was in heaven. I am betting that some of these students have a similar attitude. I heard two teachers speaking about a student who spends as much time as possible in the art rooms. I remember doing the same. No study halls, no lunch, no nothing! It was all about being in the art room; my hands full of clay or paint or ink or…. you get the idea. 

The difference for me, is that I believe I didn’t learn to take chances with my work until I was a middle-aged adult. The work I saw tonight was brave, it was bold, it spoke volumes. I cannot express how impressed I am. I “blame” the teachers. In a world where we value the arts so little, these teachers are giving their all to inspire their students with not only the ability to use art materials in an effective way, but they are inspiring them to dig deep, to reach in and share their soul on a canvas. (or paper, sculpture…. well you get the idea)

So, by my math, some of these students are a half century ahead of me. How amazing is it to be able to see someone’s soul and brush strokes marry. How incredible is it to have teachers who spend their own time to create the perfect wall of art, inspired by their own hearts, inspiration and yes, skills. 

The arts are vital my friends. The evidence hangs on the wall at Create Art 4 Good. I pray you take a moment to come and visit, take in and find the awe that I do. 

Blessings and peace- 

Susan

welcome Jessie Marianacci Valone!

Over the summer I met Jessie at a class we took together. She was this bright light with a constant smile and enthusiasm. She struck me as incredibly modest and yet confident. She was refreshing and sweet. 

Beyond liking Jessie, I got to know her as a potter. We could talk clay and even glazes as I originally worked in clay. One of the things I love about Jessie’s pottery is her attention to detail. Flip a mug or bowl over and you will witness what I am saying!

Jessie’s work is currently showing in the gallery- you will have the opportunity to see and purchase it from now through February. Her style is fun and unique, she is bold with line and design and she loves the opportunity to make something out of nothing. 

She is showing plates, bowls, pitchers, berry bowls, cruets, mugs and more! I hope you stop by, I hope you spur on this new artist and I hope you buy something fun to drink your favorite warm beverage in or serve a bowl of deliciousness! 

Jessie’s exhibit will be up through the end of January (Come visit Thursdays 4-6PM, Second Saturday 10AM until 3PM or make an appointment!) You will also get to see her work through February (perfect for your valentine!)  

Remember EVERY purchase a little love is paid forward to a local charity. We get more art in the world, and someone in need gets support. everyone wins- perfect, right? See you soonest.

with peace and love, 

Susan

Happy New Year!

So, we are a week into the new year which for me seems to be flying by so quickly! I can hardly believe it. As always I have a renewed sense of optimism. 2017 is full of potential, full of opportunity.

Upon reflection, 2016 was a year of great growth for me. I figured out quite a few things, about me personally, about where I want to go with my life personally and professionally as well as diligently facing some dragons. 

I suspect 2017 will continue the growth. My heart is open and I am fully prepared for the wonder that lies ahead. The interesting thing is that I no longer reject the idea that sometimes growth is painful. It is almost as though the growing pains seem to cement the growth or perhaps give validation to it. 

I remember when my sons were growing rapidly during their early teens. They each seemed to pick a summer where they literally grew INCHES – I would massage their backs and their legs to help them relax so perhaps they could sleep. They were in so much pain. I remember buying pants for them 2-3 times in just a month or two. I couldn’t keep up with their growth. They became young men before my eyes. 

This feels the same, there are certainly growing pains, there are trials, sometimes even doubts, but the path seems fairly clear to me. I DO get discouraged, but usually that is when I am not listening, paying attention. To be brutally honest, the pain most comes when I doubt myself and run back to try to put on the old way of doing business and realize it doesn’t fit anymore. Just like my sons and their pants, I cannot go back. It is vital to continue to be open and follow my heart. 

So that’s it… no giant words of wisdom here, just follow your heart. YOU KNOW it’s true. When we listen, we succeed, when we doubt, we fall down and those growing pains take over. 

I’m listening….