Category Archives: jewelry

Porches

Yesterday I walked around Ruskin Avenue in the Strathmore area of Syracuse, New York.  Art on Porches is an annual event with artisans displaying their wares on the porches of these beautiful homes – as well as under small tents on front lawns and by the sidewalk.

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There was music, food and my new favorite thing in the world – iced coffee, provided by Recess Coffee!

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Dorothy Wilcox creates these exquisite dream catchers.  She gathers vines and allows them to speak to her – to sort of tell her how they want to be woven.  I felt like her booth was definitely the most soothing of all the displays due to the breadth of her collection.

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It was set up in her front yard!  Her company is called Yonder Hill Specialties and you can reach her at (315) 440-2012.

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I bought a small print from Jamie Ashlaw.  He is an art teacher in the Westhill district.  Jamie creates these paintings of local signs that have a vintage flavor.  I loved his work!  I asked him if he would be interested in exhibiting at the Chittenango Middle School library for next school year and he said yes!!!!

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For information on acquiring his work, contact him at his Delavan Center studio at (315) 529-4501 or email him at jamieashlaw@hotmail.com

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Ray Kowalski is a professor at Syracuse University.  His glazes are spectacular. He said he learned how to layer them by working with his good friend Margie Hughto.

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Contact Ray at (315) 420-3113 or rgkowalskipottery@gmail.com.  He has a website too.  It is www.raykowalski.com.

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This is Tim See with his work.  I blogged about him once before and he became a Facebook friend!  He is part of the IPA- Independent Potter’s Association and sells his work at Clayscapes, the Gandee Gallery and other local venues.

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Bicycle chain and tire art is the specialty of Rob Niederhoff.  He has an Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/shop/UpCycling4ACause).  Fifty percent of his sales go to support orphan hosting through New Horizons for Children!

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Barbara Floch had a magnificent little set up using vintage luggage as risers.  She creates jewelry in her studio at the Delavan Center (501 W. Fayette St., Syracuse, NY 13201).  Her company is called Gypsy Girl Designs.  Contact her at (315) 263-3407 or gypsygirl62@yahoo.com.

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It was such a beautiful day for this event.  Loved, loved, loved meeting all the artists.  I bought several other things including another Michelle DaRin bracelet – I have decided I want my arms to look like her display racks.  I absolutely love her style!  She totally rocks!  www.michelledarinjewelry.com.

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Techno Fashion Glitch

Lucky Brand jacket, Warner Bros. Hogwarts T-shirt, Trina Turk skirt, Nine West booties
Lucky Brand jacket, Warner Bros. Hogwarts T-shirt, Trina Turk skirt, Nine West booties
Honora necklace, Banana Republic leather top, cardigan and velvet pants, BCBGGeneration booties
Honora necklace, Banana Republic leather top, cardigan and velvet pants, BCBGGeneration booties

One of the main reasons I haven’t been blogging – I was having technical difficulties with my Instagram account.  The pictures were not saving to the camera’s gallery.  I tried uninstalling the program and reinstalling it and it didn’t work until tonight.  Yeah, tonight it worked.  Weird.

Michelle DaRin jewelry, Banana Republic cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria top and skirt, Nine West boots
Michelle DaRin jewelry, Banana Republic cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria top and skirt, Nine West boots
Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria T-shirt and leggings, Lucky Brand top, Ralph Lauren boots
Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria T-shirt and leggings, Lucky Brand top, Ralph Lauren boots

I must be more relaxed or something – I am on vacation.  Or maybe it’s just an example of perseverence, although I had been on the verge of giving up, lol, over something so simple.

Michelle DaRin jewelry, BCBGMaxAzria dress, 7 For All Mankind jeans, Nine West booties
Michelle DaRin jewelry, BCBGMaxAzria dress, 7 For All Mankind jeans, Nine West booties
JCrew blazer, Rachel Roy top, Banana Republic skirt, Steve Madden boots
JCrew blazer, Rachel Roy top, Banana Republic skirt, Steve Madden boots

A former student asked me how he could get his creativity back.  He thinks he’s lost it, I guess.  And the truth is, no one can find it for you.  You just have to take the time to quiet your mind of all the bugs that are attacking you.

BCBGMaxAzria dress, Nine West boots
BCBGMaxAzria dress, Nine West boots
Michelle DaRin jewelry, Berkley Cashmere cardigan, Bailey 44 top, BCBGMaxAzria pants, Nine West booties
Michelle DaRin jewelry, Berkley Cashmere cardigan, Bailey 44 top, BCBGMaxAzria pants, Nine West booties

No more I’m not good enough…I can’t do this and all that junk. Believe you can do it.  Know you can.  Then think about how you will do it and just do it.

Viola top, Calvin Klein jeans, BCBGGeneration booties
Viola top, Calvin Klein jeans, BCBGGeneration booties
Lord & Taylor cashmere cardigan, Banana Republic cashmere dress, Nine West boots
Lord & Taylor cashmere cardigan, Banana Republic cashmere dress, Nine West boots

I know that some of my friends did not like hearing me say that I did not want to make new artwork until I started selling the art I have already made.  It is not that I lack creativity.  I just desired a sign from the universe that my art is leading to other great things.  It is very important to me to achieve financial success as an artist because I want to show my students that it is possible.  I mean, that is one reason.  I mean, I didn’t make over a thousand works of art for them to just be stored away forever.  That doesn’t make a lick of sense.

JCrew cardigan, Banana Republic dress, Nine West booties
JCrew cardigan, Banana Republic dress, Nine West booties
BCBGMaxAzria cardigan and dress, BCBGGeneration booties
BCBGMaxAzria cardigan and dress, BCBGGeneration booties

And then, I haven’t been doing anything to make any of it happen.  I haven’t been actively seeking venues or peddling my wares anywhere since the Natur-Tyme exhibit where I sold a handful of $5.00 cards.  So, I kind of sound like a person who does not take my own advice.

Michelle DaRin jewelry, Free People cardigan, Lucky Brand top, BCBGMaxAzria belt, Banana Republic skirt, Nine West booties
Michelle DaRin jewelry, Free People cardigan, Lucky Brand top, BCBGMaxAzria belt, Banana Republic skirt, Nine West booties
Banana Republic suit, BCBGMaxAzria top, BCBGGeneration booties
Banana Republic suit, BCBGMaxAzria top, BCBGGeneration booties

The truth is I wanted to manifest getting an art show in a passive way.  I was already doing everything I could to get myself out into the stratosphere.  I am here.  Right here.  And on Instagram and Linkedin and Facebook.  I have over 20,000 views on this blog.  I wanted someone to find me.  Someone who was looking for me and my art because they know it will sell.

Banana Republic sweater and pants, Calvin Klein belt, Nine West booties
Banana Republic sweater and pants, Calvin Klein belt, Nine West booties
Berkley Cashmere cardigan, Warner Bros. Gryffindor T-shirt, Nine West booties
Berkley Cashmere cardigan, Warner Bros. Gryffindor T-shirt, Nine West booties

Well, it finally happened.  I will give you more details as it gets closer to show time.  I was asked to be part of an art show at a medical facility in New Jersey.  The show starts some time in April with a reception on May 5th, 2016.  I will be exhibiting and selling my Dreamtime and Echolalia series paintings (it is an animal-themed show).  The curator saw my work on Linkedin.com.

Michelle DaRin jewelry, Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria tank top and leggings, Ugg boots
Michelle DaRin jewelry, Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria tank top and leggings, Ugg boots
Black Brown 1826 cashmere sweater, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, Ralph Lauren boots
Black Brown 1826 cashmere sweater, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, Ralph Lauren boots

Trina Turk recently replied to my comment on her picture on Instagram.  She said, Love you, too and something about wanting to be an art teacher one day!  I have the dream of meeting her one day, becoming friends and maybe even working with her – designing clothing with silk dyed to match my watercolors.

BCBGMaxAzria cardigan, top and pants, Nine West booties
BCBGMaxAzria cardigan, top and pants, Nine West booties
Bar III sweater, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, BCBGGeneration booties
Bar III sweater, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, BCBGGeneration booties

Two years ago, I wouldn’t have dreamed I would actually be interacting with her on social media.  Things can happen.  You can mold your life consciously even if you dream big.

This blog is about my community, my artwork and fashion because I have all of these other dreams.  And I think it is perfectly okay to slide your creativity around to wherever it takes you.  Who knows where it will stick?  There are bound to be more glitches along the way.  That is kind of the fun of it.  To never lose faith even when junk makes you feel like quitting.

Banana Republic sweater, Trina Turk dress, Nine West boots
Banana Republic sweater, Trina Turk dress, Nine West boots
Michelle DaRin jewelry, BCBGMaxAzria top and pants, Nine West booties
Michelle DaRin jewelry, BCBGMaxAzria top and pants, Nine West booties

I have a few more goals to achieve with the remainder of this February break.  I am buying a car, so I guess these fashion posts are going to seem redundant for a while.  While preparing the stuff for my taxes I tallied how much money I spent on clothes this past year and it was kind of a lot.  (No, I don’t deduct any of it, lol)  It would be nice if clothes were free, wouldn’t it?  Just thought I’d throw it out there if anyone is listening.  Would love to make that one stick….

Good Gig

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Whenever I run into J.P. Crangle, he always tells me that my teaching job is a good gig.  I LOVE that because it is soooo true!  I totally love my job – everything about it.  The curriculum is flexible enough that I can incorporate any artists or art movements, or even cultures that I choose.  I mean, there are thousands to pick from, as everything we know about ancient civilizations comes from studying their art.

I love the people at school.  The students are really fun.  Eighth graders and now, after a ten-year hiatus, I will be teaching fifth grade again (one section)!  They seem to love the projects we do and we spend a lot of time smiling, laughing and having fun while making art.  And it only gets better every year.

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J.P. Crangle and I went to graduate school together.  He is a professional artist and caricaturist extraordinaire!  I still have the one he drew of me, which he had created for the open house we had for students back in the M-17 days of the Syracuse University Art Education department.

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Good gig – he said it again when I saw him Friday, January 8, 2016 at the Edgewood Gallery art opening reception where he is showing and selling brilliantly-hued cartoon paintings on wood and quirky plaster doll sculptures in a show titled “Small Planets” alongside the work of Dan Shanahan and Sharon Alma.

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His paintings and sculptures are truly whimsical displays of color and fun!  The gallery/frame shop looks totally different from the way it looked during the last show (with the exception of the amazing David McDonald’s mugs on a table and powerhouse artist Arlene Abend’s tiny sculptures on the window ledge surrounded by healthy, leafy plants!  They were there the last time too and are not part of this exhibit).

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Dan Shanahan is exhibiting these incredible watercolor paintings and hand painted prints rendered with the tiniest details that keep you involved, seeking and finding more to see.  They are doodles with precision.  Really incredible stuff.

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Sharon Alma, another friend of mine, is selling jewelry in the display case.  Very colorful and incredibly, they are made of paper!

I went to the Gold Key awards ceremony for the regional Scholastic Art Awards competition last Thursday night at OCC and I was struck by the proficiency. The majority of artwork selected as winners this year were literal translations in portrait, still life and landscape.  Student technicians with inspiring mastery of detail.  The rendering skills are nothing short of breathtaking.  Not much over all in the abstract realm though nor in emotional content.

It was the same way when I was in high school.  Top prize was a Blue Ribbon back then, which I won for my portfolio – this led to getting accepted at Syracuse University where I was told my portfolio was one of the best the interviewer had seen.

Funny that, because when I look at the work now – some on the walls of my parents’ home and others that I have in a paper portfolio shoved away in the crawl space of my 2nd bedroom – I think it completely lacks emotion.

Yes, I can draw, but the artwork I enjoy making now is abstract -about my emotional journey through life, one rich with texture and rhythm, and color.

Which is why I was thrilled to support my former student Maria L. Her sculpture portfolio won a Gold Key (her current instructor is Allison Kominecky).

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She created this white dress from an underlying structure of chicken wire.  The bodice was shellacked with her parents’ divorce papers.  All of the tissue paper from Christmas (according to her mom) made up the fluffy skirt.  This hauntingly beautiful piece filled with raw emotion transcends the competition and becomes a kind of memory of time and space while her other large piece filled with a cascade of paper butterflies almost says that beauty is abundant yet fleeting so one must enjoy the moment while one can.  It all makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time while giving the artist a giant hug for her bravery and perseverance.

That’s joy.

Her work, like the three artists’s at Edgewood, can also be described as whimsical and fun.  One can surely find the beauty in realism, but art can also symbolize magic in other ways.  Maria’s work and the rest resonate joy, an emotion we can all do well to include more of in our lives.

I just read a thingy in one of Rhonda Byrnes’ books about it.  Say it to yourself whenever you can, but slowly.  I – AM – JOY.  Say it a bunch of times and often.  If you are ever down for whatever reason, I guarantee it will make you smile.  Makes you realize that life is supposed to be joyous and fun.  That’s definitely a good gig if you can find it.

The Edgewood show will be on display at 216 Tecumseh Road, Syracuse, NY 13224 until February 19, 2016.  For more information and hours of operation, find the gallery here or call (315) 445-8111.

If you are interested in checking out Maria’s art and the rest of the Scholastic Art Awards winners, it is all on display until the end of February at the Whitney Building at Onondaga Community College, Syracuse, NY.