Friday, August 27, 2010

Art Works in Johnstown

Last night was the grand opening of Art Works in Johnstown. What a wonderful space and place to see and create art. Rick and I will be having an exhibit there opening on November 19th along with Jon and Jan Heath and possibly Mary Hamilton. Will post the time etc. when we get closer to the event!

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Porcelain and Stoneware Garden Works

Working with my left hand on artwork for the past 3 months has been a challenge. Still, it is nice to know that the brain and imaging can still function. These photos are indicative of a new line of works I am going to be working on in the future. The two clay bodies have been nice to work with and as always, it is a delight to sculpt in other materials along with the steel and copper works.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Here Comes Moses

Here comes Moses
He is as brave as a lion
and this morning successfully attacked....
the zucchini plants!

Foxxy is an unwary victim
and is soon exhausted by his antics.
He nips at her short legs and she runs...
in the hopes he might not be able to catch her.

He is easily distracted
sort of like an ADD Dog.
Leaves and branches are just out of his reach...
he takes a nap after a long morning of being
an 8 week old puppy.

New Work Left Handed

So, like a completely impatient person, I have strained my hand once again. My obsession with elderberry picking may in fact put off the healing of the hand for a longer duration. Despite myself, I have managed on occasion to make some decent pieces with my left hand. My newest venture is the combination of porcelain clay, recycled glass works and steel. The other larger pieces will get posted later in the week. For now, come visit us at the Country Market at Ohiopyle on August 21st to enjoy the Over the Falls event and to see new pieces!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Growing like a Wonderful Weed

Moses and Foxxy are getting along famously. He has gained 2.5 pounds since last Saturday. I think time lapse photography would actually show him growing. He is a joy to us and to Foxxy also!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Moses and Foxxy Video!

Check it out! Here is Moses and Foxxy playing! He is so dang cute!

Moses Ares "Hurricane" Murphy

Our new mastiff addition came home with us on Friday. His name is Moses and we found out today that he loves water...go figure! He weighs in at almost 12 pounds and is 7 weeks old today. Foxxy Loxxy is doing great with him and Rick and I are not getting much sleep trying to put up with a crying baby....actually today, he did much better. Tonight he is in the kitchen after an exhausting day of being a puppy.

Here is a photo video to follow.....

Pottery class at Laurel Arts

I just finished my pottery camp at Laurel Arts this week. The kids were awesome and we are firing the kiln this week for pick up later. Before we finshed for the day we wrote Cinquain Poems in our spare time. I did not teach on Friday so the kids left me with a poem:

Fun, loving
Carving, teaching, helping
Creating things with kids

Monday, August 2, 2010

Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia

Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia

Our most recent adventure was to go on vacation with my mother and my 16 year old nephew. The premise of such a vacation was for us to get away where there was sun and water and to also share our time and experience with mom and Alex. Oh if only someone had warned me of the lifestyle of a 16 year old. At one point, I called my sister Cynthia to exclaim:

“It is a good thing I did not have children….this one might not be coming back with us!”

Much to my amazement with a beautiful lake, kayaks, fishing, swimming and biking available, it would seem that not all in the group were interested in the above activities….I will not mention any namesJ

This trip served as an eye opener for both Rick and me about my mom. In the times we have visited or spent time with her, we always go home within a few hours. This extended stay really allowed us a true glimpse into what her life is like now and what she sees coming.

Yesterday was the anniversary of my father passing away three years ago. He did not prepare for his passing and did not prepare for the future of my mother without him. At age 79 her life should be easier and yet it is still fraught with financial worries, health concerns and the reality that things are not simple and easy with dad gone. My mom worries incessantly about things going wrong with a house in disrepair, the upcoming dread of winter and the realization that her own home is really too much for her to handle on her own. On top of that, she still bemoans the fact that she is still searching for a “career” or something that she still loves to do. Her heart and mind are not challenged and this allows for a negative spirit to prevail on most of her thoughts and conversations.

My heart sunk when I helped her make her bed and she wanted to put a plastic sheet down:

“Just in case….” She said. Her arm had grown a strange and terrible growth in a matter of days and she has other strange skin growths that seem to come over night. Most often she is frustrated by her hearing disability and snaps if she cannot understand what you are saying. It is frustrating for everyone.

My mother has a warm and giving heart. Even when she has had next to nothing, she finds time and energy to make fresh, homemade bread for friends and neighbors or soup for someone she hears is not feeling well. I often wonder if she is acknowledged for any of these simple generosities. Sometimes she takes an anti-anxiety pill to help relieve her stress. I don’t think she had enough available for this trip.

The biggest change has been her daily references to things being the last time she might experience something. Her days floating on a pool noodle in the lake ended on the morning we left as she half whispered:

“That is probably the last time I will ever swim in a lake.”

I even got her to go out in the kayak and she made a similar comment. My heart is troubled as I don’t know how to help her or what I can do to make things better. She wants to move, but not start over somewhere where she does not know anyone. Having no real close friends, she reads the obituary each day to see if anyone she knows has passed away.

My nephew joked often that Rick and are old. My claim is that we are in the summer of our life, while it is difficult to admit that mom is in winter. How do we make the winter bearable and positive for her? What kinds of plans can we help her with without interfering and allowing her to remain independent? How do we share this time with her and keep her journey remarkable and still full of wonder and love?

A Prayer from a student from Arts for Healing

My Prayer

God please bless me with your love
Smile down on me from up above.
To live for you, I do aspire
Make me know what you desire.
Teach me to obey your every word
Don't let me falter my dear Lord.
Lead me on my path of life
Let me be brave when I face strife.
Take my hand and guide me through
I'll never fear when I'm with you.
If my path should darken at any time
I know up ahead your light will shine.
And when I get to heaven to be with thee
Please open your arms and welcome me.

by Patricia E Presley

Comment from an Arts for Healing student

Thought I'd say "Hello" and "Thank You!", Martha.

I've just looked over the entire blog here and my how this has grown! I loved all of the student's works esp. the mosaics! Hope we can do some mosaics at AFH sometime if the state ever realizes how important "The Arts" are and allows funding for same... Yet, maybe it's time for me to "stand on my own two feet" and explore my painting at home and outside as well... I hope and pray that we can all come together again in the future for more classes with you and others. I will greatly miss everyone in AFH, and am also very grateful for Carol and the others in administration who are just wonderful people!

I have learned so much from all of the AFH classes, but have especailly enjoyed the new acrylic painting techniques I learned from you! I am feeling more confident and positive about many things in my life... I really think that painting has been a huge factor in my better attitude about life, pain, and other problems! The power of Love and Painting! I feel so BLESSED to know you, Martha! You are a wonderful teacher and friend! (and Artist!)

Much Love & Peace,


Arts for Healing Summer 2010

Another wonderful residency for Arts for Healing has ended today. My camera was on the blink so I am waiting some wonderful photos of work accomplished being send via e mail from Chris who is one of our great volunteers. We ended the class with a glorious feast of food and art auction. I was also delightfully surprised to be starting another class in the fall and all our students eagerly signed up. The sense of family and friendship is unmistakable. Here is a comment I found from an earlier blog: