R E F L E C T I O N 

Chair Person

Chicken breasts sat on styrofoam trays. 
Peas hid in the freezer. 
Potatoes, like cast off shoes, 
lay on the counter. 
Dinner would be late — once again.

I had picked up this chair for $5 at a local thrift shop. Like Goldilocks, it seemed "just right" to me. It was perfectly worn out with hints of green paint revealing a past life.


No seat, no problem. I can weave one! And so I did, way past dinner time. Obsessed with my project, I became lost in under & overs as twine scraped through my fingers.

We ended up with a handmade chair — for a few bucks, a few blisters, and a late night dinner. 

No so bad, right John...John?...John?


R E F L E C T I O N 

Super Girl

What does a young artist do 
when forced to go to 
school wearing a uniform?

Hide a superball in her pocket, 
of course. 

I was restricted to grey and navy, but in my pocket was a multi-colored secret. A tiny work of art. The treasure would be revealed at recess, powered by my own force. Bouncing far above my head, it lifted my gaze — flying colors framed by sky. I could escape the plaid polyester. I was free.


R E F L E C T I O N 

A Room of One's Own
(and the construction hell I went 
through to get it.)

I have been sleeping on the floor of my family room for three months sandwiched between a love seat and an armoir. I have had various men showing up at my house before I've had my first sip of morning coffee — since August 15th, sometimes 6 days a week. (Here is the point where you roll your eyes and say, "Oh poor baby! Dealing with construction. First World problem.")

But for an artist who suffers from anxiety and OCD, it has been close to unbearable. It has given me a renewed compassion for people who are displaced from their homes due to war, fire, or natural disaster. This doesn't even come close to those scenarios (and I know my version of hell will someday come to an end), yet I feel so overwhelmed. I am displaced by my own choosing, they have been displaced by fate. My emotions, however, are not paying attention to logic.

This also speaks to the fact that an artist needs peace, quiet, and time to daydream before getting to work. It sounds like pampering, but it is essential. Not an easy commodity to attain in a world spinning off its axis. 

My good friend Luke, fellow artist, told me that Chuck Close said inspiration was for amateurs; professionals just get to work. I will get to work, but I need a daydream vacation, and a room of my own. The corner in the basement next to the boiler room ain't cutting it anymore.

When I can put things back in their place, and organize my art supplies once again, I will be grateful for what I have, and I will get back to work at daydreaming.


R E F L E C T I O N 

Blog Contest Winners

What treasures are over your sink?

On my last blog post, I posed this question to my readers.
I loved the following essays I received. 
Each writer has won a box set of Hair-Raising Thoughts notecards. 
Thank you for taking the time to make such thoughtful submissions!

W I N N E R  O N E: M I K E

W I N N E R  T W O: C A T H Y


R E F L E C T I O N 

over the rainbow...
or perhaps just 
the kitchen sink.

How many hours do we stand at the kitchen sink and wish to be
somewhere over the rainbow? 
For me, it's far more hours than I care to calculate.

Over my sink sits a painful window (pun intended)suffering from a broken seal between its double sheets of glass. Trapped moisture forecasts a London fog everyday regardless of the actual weather. If that fog were to lift, it would leave me with an expansive view of brick. Not quite the place where happy little blue birds fly.

The OTS Museum
 (Open Daily)

My only recourse was to become curator for The "Over the Sink" MuseumObjects I display bring me peace as I grind last nights dinner down the garbage disposal. My palette of choice is subdued — my response to an incessant world buzzing about like a thirsty mosquito.

Ignore What's Behind That Curtain!
An embroidered napkin becomes the first layer of my collection.

Rock, Paper, Scissors...Shoot!
If those layers could talk...

Sweet cherry wallpaper circa 1940s 
(discovered during remodeling) — and my box of dreams.

Form over Function. Can't cut a darn thing, but looks great trying!

Recorded History — or Her Story.
I've shared this shell with you before. A life story tattooed upon its surface. The sea gods may be angry that I have taken home treasures from their shores, upsetting a delicate ecosystem, but I hope they will forgive me, knowing how much I reflect upon this broken beauty...

...and an oyster shell,holding a whole world within its boundaries.

Just like Nature, the Sink has Cycles
The sink empties, then fills again. Endless days of dishes and London fog, but when things seem grim I have my simple objects to take me over the rainbow.

Now it's your turn to write! 
Answer the following question in the comments section and you will be entered to win a box of Hair-Raising Thoughts notes cards (box of 10). The most interesting response will be the winner. The prize winner will be announced on my blog next Friday.

Q: What treasures are over your sink? 

1- Click on "comment" at the bottom of this post.
2- Type your answer in the box.
3- Select a choice from "comment as" ("anonymous" always works, but make sure to include an e-mail address so I can notify the winner and get a shipping address).
4- Click on the blue publish button.

If you have trouble entering your answer, e-mail me your entry to cmezzoart@mac.com


R E F L E C T I O N 

(if life doesn't intervene)

That's part of my tag line.
Let's just say, life intervened quite a bit this week.

I am grateful for the abundance in my life, 
but also overwhelmed at the moment. 
I just finished breakfast at 3:30pm. 

As soon as I can string a sentence together again, 
I will put up a new post. 

Thanks for your patience!


R E F L E C T I O N 

Being Fearless

Last Sunday, I introduced my children's book, I'm not afraid of..., to family and friends at The Dolphin Book Shop. To add to the festivities, I asked people to draw what they were "not afraid of." We made a communal clothesline of art with all the wonderful contributions. The guest artists ranged from young to old, and their creativity was flowing! I treasure each one. 

I picked out a few to share:

I'm not afraid of...sharing my thoughts!

I'm not afraid of taking risks (me riding a platypus).

I'm not afraid of Life!

I'm not afraid of my daughter's piercings...(anymore!)

I'm not afraid of anyone or any thing because
I'm the meanest person on earth.

I'm not afraid of a new pair of shoes!

I'm not afraid of hair gel.

I'm not afraid of Jello, but my Aunt Florence is!

I'm not afraid of talking sisters (blah, blah, blah...)

I'm not afraid of preforming in front of an audience.

I'm not afraid of braces. (done by and adult!)

I'm not afraid of being myself.

I'm not afraid of midnight or noon —
it's what is between them that scares me!

I'm not afraid of candied bacon!

I'm not afraid of bees.

Love this little cake...

and I love this creative bee! Bee-utiful!

Thank you to everyone for all the love, support, and art 
you have shared with me! It has been a 16-year-long journey to print this book, 
but it was all worth it!

This photo is courtesy of Janet Bontempo.
For more info on the book, go to:


R E F L E C T I O N 

Think Outside the Box

I open this box, 
its mystery 
will be released, 
like a genie 
from his bottle, 
and I 
will be left 
holding reality 
in my hands.

Deep in the rafters of my gutted house, I spied this little box. Climbing through two by fours and dust, I fished it out with my Swiffer, like a child playing the crane game at an arcade. I was determined to retrieve this treasure — a 73-year-old box left behind to be discovered in a new world.

My first instinct was to open it, but the lid was fused to the bottom. The result of an inquisitive shake was silence. I assumed prying off the lid would reveal the dust of a long forgotten soup, consumed by one of the men who built my home in 1941.

If I never open it, I am left thinking outside this box, allowing it to be as limitless as Mary Poppin's handbag. So for now, it sits over my sink. As I wash the dishes, I  
dream that it contains any of the following:
• An ancient prayer, which recited three times, will bring a moment of peace to a weary world.
• The formula for an inexpensive and easily produced medicine that will cure Ebola so that lives will be saved and a child doesn't have to be told she can't hug her mommy for three weeks or more.
• A magical perfume that can be released into the air to stop global warming. It was invented by a boy genius who lived in our house 63 years ago. His time machine whisked him into the future while his parents thought he was tucked into bed. He left this behind, knowing we would need his help.

Okay, maybe it is nothing but a leftover lunch, but until I open the box, it contains my dreams. And that's reality.


R E F L E C T I O N 

One Liners

Miss Dazey

I came across a book on the artist Paul Klee and was completely inspired. His work is a combination of playfulness and architecture. He often used simple lines and an oil transfer technique that I am eager to try. For now, I have started with sketches in my journal using one continuous, spontaneous line to create faces in less than a minute. It is pure fun. Try it yourself. I do them over and over and I am often amused and surprised by the results. They also reflect my love for Alexander Calder's wire sculptures. Like knitting, one long strand can become something fantastic.

Copying Off Picasso's Test Paper

Tongue Tied

Mr. Sourpuss

Bad Hair Day

Clown Dreaming of Nose Job

Unintentional John Lennon

Just Watched The 6 O'Clock News

Just Watched The 10 O'Clock News

I'm thinking of expanding this into a larger body of work. I would like to blow these up huge and create the line in black paint. It allows a child-like quality to emerge that is far more interesting than an uptight artist rendering. Any one of them could be art or garbage, so there is nothing to lose. And that is freedom.