Tuesday, July 29, 2008

2nd post today - LA Rock 'n Roll

At 11:42 am my apartment began to sway back and forth for a full 30 seconds that felt like more - found out we had a 5.4 earthquake - all the pictures in my apartment were turned sideways - cupboards opened and only one sculpture on the top of a bookcase fell off the shelf but fell on carpeting so didn't break! Lots and lots of aftershocks but I'll take them rather than a hurricane or tornado! Just wanted everyone to know that we are safe-

My First Art Portfolio for AU 2008

Detail Close up - "Rabbi's Wedding" - mixed media - acrylic on canvas

Detail - Close Up - "Rabbi's Wedding" - paper cranes from wedding incorporated in art piece

Top panel from "Freedom Banner" (paper, crackle paint, stamps/ink)

Trying to be organized in my efforts to get ready to go to Art Unraveled 2008 - but the to-do list grows longer and the days grow shorter - Realized that I had not gathered my art work to display at Meet the Artists - I am honored to be able to have a table with the other instructors/artists on the first night after my kick off speech - as I looked through my work I realized that my favorite and best pieces were given away as gifts - but luckily I have lots of photos of each - so decided to print out 8 1/2 x 11 glossy photo prints and create a portfolio to display along with works-in-progress and completed projects - as it usually happens things take longer than I plan - and wow! printing large color photos takes up lots and lots of ink - had to go up to Staples to get another color cartridge - I know it would have been cheaper to burn a disc and take it to Kinko's but time is a factor so I made the judgment call to do it myself -

Page from handmade book - Kelly Kilmer's Class - work-in-progress

I look at going to Art Unraveled 2008 like going away to art camp - some folks are lucky enough to be able to just sign up with no worries about the money factor - but I actually set up a special AU 2008 to save all year to attend - so I want to make the most of my time there - I'm taking lots of classes and pushing myself to take classes that "scare" me - I want to stretch myself and grow in my art skills - a few years ago I wouldn't have been willing to try things that seemed difficult or out of my capabilities - today I am able to step outside of my comfort zone and try - I give myself permission to just show up and not have to do things perfectly - to put myself in the "student/learning" mode - I find it allows me to actually have fun in class - what a concept! :)

Three from my "Faces" illustration portfolio - Tombo markers

So here are the classes I'm taking - to check out the artists/instructors - go to www.artunraveled.com and click on the artists -




DRAWING BLAST– Carla Sonheim

VINTAGE METAL DECK – Leighanna Light

DRAWING OUT INNER ARTIST (controlled chaos) – Raina Gentry


Please respect my art - all art the property of the artist Reva Solomon and not to be copied without permission. Thank you!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock

Art Unraveled 2008 Tag Book Cover (made from mini-checker board)

Have you ever noticed how time can play tricks on us? When we're sitting, waiting, anticipating something that we are looking forward to happening, an event, a trip, seeing a loved one, etc., the clock seems to move so slowly almost in slow motion. It seems like the day will never arrive - almost as if there are more hours in the day. But, when we have a deadline or so much to do before the appointed date, the clock seems to speed up, almost as if there are less than twenty-four hours in the day! That's exactly what's been happening with me as I anticipate attending a full week of Art Unraveled 2008 for the first time. Up until Monday, the event seemed so far away, like the day would never arrive when I would get on that plane with all my stuff to fly the short trip to Phoenix. But somehow when Monday arrived, as if on cue, the clock sped up and here it is Thursday and I am feeling overwhelmed with all that needs to get done before I leave. I'll spare you the specific items on my long, long list, but the feelings are those of overwhelm, stress, nervousness, and stagnation. So I'm writing this down so I can turn those things into positives.

Someone much wiser than myself, once told me that sometimes I confuse fear and excitement. That the energy expended for both is the same. And when I look at myself today as I'm in that place of overwhelm that causes me to be paralyzed and not be able to do anything on my list, I think of those wise words. So instead of focusing on the negative thoughts that are spinning in my head, I am choosing to look at the ones that are sitting quietly waiting for me to notice them. They are excitement and anticipation and joy and laughter and friendships and learning and creativity and more...I believe that what energies and thoughts we put out into the world, are what we get back.

So I resolve to let go of the negative thoughts and to focus on the positive ones. I will label my feelings as excitement and let fear sit alone with no place in my head and my heart as the days go by, not with less hours, but the same twenty-four as I know intellectually are there. I create my own reality and must not let all those negative thoughts take over. So here I go - taking my long list in hand - looking forward to crossing things off one by one getting ready for my trip that I have worked so hard to save for and learn skills all year for and create my own art to share with others. I'm excited and can't wait to step off the plane in 100 plus temperature to greet old and new friends who all are there as artists, and that is a very exciting thing! Make it a great day!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

2nd post today - My First Art Commission!

For Mother's Day this year, I decided to create a tribute book for my Mom to thank her for all she has done for me in my life and how much she means to me.

My Mom loved the book and has it displayed in her kitchen. When her bridge group came over to play last week, everyone wanted to look at the book. They all loved it. One of the gals asked to get in touch with me. When we spoke she told me she wanted me to make a book just like my Mom's as a tribute to her granddaughter's graduation from college. I was thrilled and so begins my first art commission. Can't wait to get started on her book! Thanks, Doreen!

6 x 6 board book - acrylics and mixed media - Mother's Day Tribute Book (me on the cover at age 3)

Handmade paper beads and buttons and stamped tags

These are the photos of the book that sparked my first commission - the book I made for my Mom for Mother's Day 2008.

All contents on this post and this blog are NOT to be copied without permission. Thank you.

Giving Back with a Gift of Art...

This weekend I was able to repay a dear teacher and friend of mine with a gift of my art. Rabbi Lisa Edwards of Beth Chayim Chadashim (BCC) in Los Angeles was my first teacher as I explored my faith and my Judaism. My family was not religious when I was growing up and as I went out on my own I began searching for my roots and my beliefs.

9x12 Canvas - acrylic and mixed vintage media - June 13, 2008 Marriage

When I moved to Los Angeles I signed up for a women's journal writing class that was being taught at BCC. It was in class sitting in that synagogue that I found myself wanting to learn more about Judaism. There was a wonderful woman in the class named Tracy Moore and we became friends. She suggested that I take the Judaism 101 class from Rabbi Lisa Edwards (who happened to be her partner). I took the class and that began my journey to learn more about my faith.

Rabbi Lisa Edwards

Although I do not belong to this congregation, Rabbi Lisa still remains a spiritual advisor and friend. So it was with great joy that we all greeted the news on June 16, 2008 that the California courts overturned the ban on Gay/Lesbian Marriage and it was now legal. In 1995, I attended the Jewish wedding of Lisa and Tracy. With about 300 people in attendance, including Lisa's parents and family, her brother (also a Rabbi) and another local Rabbi married them. But it was not a legal wedding in the eyes of the secular world. Now with the ruling overturned, Lisa and Tracy, together in a monogamous relationship since 1985, could finally legally be married under the eyes of California law. And so last Sunday they signed the papers legalizing their marriage in front of a large group of friends.

Rabbi Lisa Edwards & Tracy Moore

I found out about the signing on Thursday evening when I saw them at a film festival. I immediately went home and searched for something I had been saving - and not knowing why - for thirteen years since their wedding. It was two Origami paper cranes that each guest was given at the wedding. There is a Japanese legend that if you make 1000 paper cranes, you will have good health, happiness and peace. For some reason, I saved those two paper cranes over the years, often pinning them to my bulletin board over my desk. Whenever I tried to throw them out, something stopped me and I just saved them. Now I knew why. I took those two paper cranes from Tracy and Lisa's wedding and created this art piece to give to them on Sunday when they were finally recognized as a legally married couple. And so I was finally able to give back and thank them for all that they have given to me over the years.

Close up of 13 year old paper cranes from 1995 Jewish wedding

Love is love. And they are the most loving couple I know. They were thrilled as they opened my gift and even more thrilled when they realized that the two cranes were incorporated in the piece. Tracy and Lisa - may you grow old together in love and happiness and may G-d continue to bless you in your lives.

Close ups of marriage gift of art

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

NYC and back again...

Newlyweds - Raluca and Derek - She's a nurse and he's a new ER doctor - they are moving from Philadelphia to Connecticut - they met at the hospital!

Came back from NYC and hit the ground running so haven't posted for a while - NY was fabulous as always - my cousin Derek married a wonderful Romanian gal named Raluca and our two families had a great party in my cousin Gene's backyard - my Dad was the baby of eight kids so I have lots of cousins and we got to spend time together catching up -

The Solomon Cousins - with a few missing

Raluca's Mom, Cousin Jed,Cousin Gene (Derek's Mom), Newlyweds Raluca and Derek, Raluca's Dad (Mitch) is hiding behind the couple

While I was in NY I took a class at a wonderful stamp store in the West Village called The Ink Pad - our very generous teacher was Estrella - we made "inchies" - enjoyed meeting everyone from around the world in our class but realized that inchies are not my forte - live and learn - the store was filled floor to ceiling with amazing stamps - bought way too many - but real estate is at a premium in the city and the store was so small that it was crowded when two people stood side by side! They closed the store at 7 pm and then let all ten of us students in, set up tables and somehow we all fit!

Earlier that day I met my cousin Rhoda down on the Lower East Side to tour the oldest synagogue there - The Eldridge Street Synagogue- it was built in the 1800's when that neighborhood was filled with Jewish immigrants - now it's an Asian neighborhood - the synagogue was just restored and still houses a small Orthodox congregation of 40 people - the rest of the time the synagogue is a museum and they give tours which we took - you can take a tour on their website - it's also used as a gathering place for music events and lectures for the whole community - The building began to decay in the 1950's and the upstairs where the sanctuary is was locked until the 1980's and they only used the downstairs for services - The synagogue restoration was taken on as a project to restore it in the 1980's and finally just finished - these pictures don't do it justice - it's beautifully restored and you can feel the history when you stand in the sanctuary -

The Rabbi's would deliver their sermons from this lectern on the Bimah (pulpit) at the front of the synagogue

View of the restored sanctuary from the Bimah

Close-up of the restored lighting - these were originally gas lights but have been restored as electric but used the original glass and brass

View of two stories of windows on the side of the sanctuary

view of the steps up to the Bimah from sanctuary view

view from the center doors looking to the front of the synagogue

View from the women's section upstairs looking down onto the main floor of the sanctuary (Men and women sit separately in Orthodox synagogues even today)

Restored stained glass window upstairs faces Eldridge Street

Velvet covered wooden table in the center of the sanctuary - used to hold Torah for readings during services - The Torah (The five books of the bible hand written with special quill in Hebrew on goat skin scroll) are housed in a special ark at the front of the synagogue and taken out and unrolled to that week's Torah portion and read during a special part of the service

View of one section of the women's section upstairs - note the marble poles (they are actually faux painted in the restoration because actual marble reminiscent of that era is too costly - but even up close you can not tell they are painted!) also note center on the back wall - a section of the wall is unfinished to show what it was like before restoration began -

The museum relies completely on donations so if you feel inclined check out how you can donate on their website -

Another great place to visit while down on the Lower East Side is The Tenement Museum on Orchard Street - it is an old boarding house from the 1800's that has several apartments restored - while I was there last year I visited the Jewish apartment and the Italian apartment - they have just completed an Irish apartment and they have a fabulous gift shop -