Saturday, May 11, 2019

Today was a day for the record books. I received my MFA degree from CCAD.  I have held onto that dream for 45 years and now it is completed.  I will need to clear out my studio in the few weeks and move into 55 East Spring Street in Columbus.  Crazy our security cards are no longer valid, (today is the last day) so will need to have CCAD security let us into the building.

Still processing how quickly the last two years have flown.

I need to start planning the next phase, residencies, shows and galleries.  All new beginnings.



April 27, 2019

Ok, I have sent off my thesis tonight.  I had sent one off earlier this week and GASP!, the next day I found several typos.  I asked Ric not to read, PLEASE and I was going to edit the paper.  I dumped a few more commas into the trash, and corrected the one word that was misspelled.  I am relaxed. Done.

I have toured about 60 to 70 people through the  Beeler gallery describing our classes’ work.  While touring a friend of mine Friday morning, I noticed 12 – 15 young people sitting on the floor, looking at various artists’ works, and writing copious notes.  These students were on a class assignment to write about an art work that was interesting to them.  The instructor, Judy….need to look up her last name, all were in a beginning drawing class at Columbus State.  Their assignment was to choose a piece of work and then write about it.  She asked me to speak to her class about my work.   I hope these students are inspired by what they saw and will think of transferring to CCAD for the balance of their art education.  Thank you Columbus State  for bringing your students to CCAD.

The semester is winding down.  I feel I have not done anything creative during the month of April, other than write the thesis.

I think I want to start a silk screen print before I leave while I have the  opportunity to use the print facilities.  I need to make a sketch or two and get to work.

Yes, as my parents always said, get busy, do something, even if it is wrong!!!


April 23, 2019

I did have my oral on Friday morning 10am.  I think it went very well.  I was waiting for some difficult questions and I did not think they were very hard on me at all.  Amazingly, it was just a comfortable chat with my three mentors, Julie Abijanac, Molly Burke, and Sophie.  Ric Petry the director of the program and Molly, yes the same Molly who was one my mentors were asking the questions and trying to “torture me”.

On Friday evening, the 18th, I attended the farewell part for Ric Petry from CCAD.  He is retiring at the end of this year.  I think he is ready, and I know he has some plans to make art.  He is also going to mentor a few students next year.  That will be a good balance for him.  I am so happy no one threw a retirement party for me. I was able to slip away and have Trevor take over the business.  It is such a rite of passage, to no longer be a part of the work force.  I remember my dad being so depressed until he figured out how to spend his time and energy in the retirement years.  I am guessing the reason I am writing about retirement, is I will be facing that when I graduate.

I am sad to leave, but I must plan for the next adventure.  I will need to move out of my DSB building studio nest, that I have come to love and retreat into.  I need to  find a new studio.  Michael Reese wants a painting for the Columbus/Cuba show that opens on October 1, 2019.  I will miss the opening because I will be returning from the bicycle trip  in Croatia. I want to do it all.  Bummer.

The next big adventure is having my GGW gal friends come Saturday to see out MFA show and on Sunday, my sister Sally will bring my mom to see the show.  I hope she is clear headed enough to experience the show.  I will take them to Lindey’s for brunch.  I know my mom would love going there and I am sure Sally will enjoy too.

The week end after graduation, my GGW gal friends are spending a long week end in Taos.  We will have 8 of us crammed into a 3 bedroom house.  Good laughs, cross word puzzles and  a little wine.

Hard to believe, the show is taken down on Monday and Tuesday next week. It is what we have striven to accomplish and now is over. Life is fleeting and its another moment that is gone forever…just socked away the memory bank of life’s lessons.

ok back to work on the nasty thesis ka-ka writing…. painting is so much easier and lots more fun.



April 23, 2019

I am currently writing the thesis.  All I can write is UHG!  I have spent a lot of time it.   I will have one of my classmates, Jacs help me hone punctuation errors and computer Ka-Ka.  She is amazing wiz at the computer, and to add to all of her talents, she is a super writer.

School is winding down. I am hoping to make one more print before it comes to a close


susan p in front of her painting.jpeg

Susan Petry was the first model out with a coat.  She is dancer by background so she was the perfect choice to start the slow stroll through the galleries

Below are the seven models.


Maureen Teed, Chloe Lillash, Kathleen Murphy, me, Anne Valentine, Erica Rodney, Susan Petry and Lonni Thompson.

coats lined up.jpeg

April 18, 2019

Today was the last critique class and six students gave a wrap up of their MFA work.  I volunteered to go first.  We were asked to speak a few words, and the balance of the conversation was from the class.  The story of age came up because of the article in the Dispatch about me graduating with the MFA at 75.  The overall consensus was my work did not seem like an old person with its timeless images, the saturated colors, and the overall scale was the maker.  The overall hope was by the time most of the students,  women in particular became 75, the prejudice of women and ageism in general would be a non issue.  I hope for all that is does come true.

Nicole Monahan, one of our instructors in the critique class,  and I made a deal, we are both going to apply to Skowhegan next year for a summer residency.   I will try for other residencies too, but we shook hands and now we both have to go for it.  Its very competitive to attend and she thought I would have a chance because of my age. Hmmm. I must put it out to the universe and try it.  If I do not try, then I am guaranteed to not be accepted.

I will load images from the MFA stroll of coats but will do that later.

Tomorrow is a big day, my oral defense of my work and do need a clear mind and a rested body.  I have loved, loved, loved my journey at CCAD and do not want to leave this wonderful nest but all things do come to an end.




April 3, 2019

I have finished working on the last coat.  I have spent the last two weeks hunkered down at the sewing machine. All of the hems and details are stitched and pressed.  I  met with Barbie Pallo, a fashion model, who is going to manage the “meander” of the coats and models.  Susan Petry, a dancer and teacher at OSU, suggested I have the models wear sunglasses, as I want them to slowly walk and not make eye contact.  Great idea.

I believe I have sold two of the paintings as of today, “Gramp’s Potato Digger” and “Past July”.  I also have a hold on another piece. I am pleased that others find the work interesting and want to spend their money and live with the pieces.  I am always truly humbled and honored.

I need to start writing the thesis.  I have written a mish-mosh of thoughts and am going to type them out.  I like to write on yellow lined paper with sharp pencils; it seems to help my stream of consciousness to compose that way, and then edit, edit, edit as I type.

The thesis is required to have at least 8 pages, plus pictures. I have done some research on my work to support my work and as I write, I am sure the ” holes” will appear.

Here is a shot of the final installation, lighting is not adjusted and the squaring of the paintings is next on the Beeler installers.

Farm + Fashion Installation.jpeg
here is the quilt like final layout of “Farm + Fashion”

I will have one of the photographers from my class shot each of the paintings. I plan to have scarves printed as well as I need good photos to enter various art shows.

I will have more photos to share after the opening.

April 1, 2019

The paintings are all hung now.  I know the installers will tweak the squares so will take final shots of installation when that is done.  My “map”, the plan I created for the installers to hang was perfect, but for one element.  I rearranged all 18 paintings on the floor before they hung them, and only one of the 18 remained in the location from the original plan.

I am finishing the “midnight corn” coat” today and need to hone the details of three other coats and then DONE.

Julie Abajanic and I discussed the walk through with the coats for Friday night opening at my last critique meeting a few weeks ago and I am happy that this is going to happen.  I have hired, Barbie Pallo a professional model, to manage the gals through the walk through as I will be too busy to oversee.  Susan Petry, a dancer and professor at OSU, is going to meet with me today, and we will co-ordinate the “meander” of the garments and gals.  It’s only 30 minutes long at best. They will slowly walk through the four gallery spaces, finish in front of my paintings and walk out.   Nancy Brooks Brody, an artist who was part of the exhibition at the Beeler, “Fierce Pussy”, was the person who first suggested that I have the coats be at the opening as they “informed” the paintings.  I need to send her a photo and let her know that I have followed her advice!

Zane is still smiling.jpeg
Zane as he starts my installation
Ian on the lift.jpeg
Ian is getting ready for the last row
Zane hanging the last row.jpeg
Zane on the last row.

I cannot believe my MFA dream is about finished.  I have waited 43 years to accomplish this goal.  Writing the thesis, and the oral defense are the last requirements.  The paper is due on April 28. My plan is to have it completed and turned in on the 26th.  My gal pals, the GGW, are coming for an “in-depth” visit to my show on the 27th and my mom at 94 is hopefully coming on the 28th.

That is all for right now, heading back to the sewing machine.

March 20, 2019

I finished writing up the report for my summer internship with Celeste Malvar-Stewart.  I hope it went sent to Ric.  I will check with him tomorrow.   I added the fixative to the two fabrics that were printed from my paintings and now I am ready to make two more coats.  I am going to cut out and extra small and a small. The balance I have made were all mediums.  I need to buy linings for both coats next.

I am about to be finished with the last painting #18.  I have entitled it, “It ‘s All About the Soul”.  Of course, the painting is an homage to the heart and soul of any fashionista who wants covets a Christian Loubatain iconic red sole shoe.  I have a couple of pairs and do wear them sparingly.  The fleur de lis emblems are so very French, another tribute to Christian and haute couture.  I would buy this design if it was a scarf!


.It's all about the soul.jpeg

March 19, 2019

We were skiing out west, Colorado, last week.  It is great to be back in the studio. I finished the painting that is an homage to her and started #18 painting.  It will be the last one.  I plan to have my canvases hung in a two 9 canvas squares, a metaphor to a quilt.

Of course, the figure of me is photo shopped, but it give the sense of scale of how big the paintings will be. The “quilt” on the right has two place holder canvases, the red shoes in the center which are being painted now, #18, and the painting directly below is will be the painting of 94 roses.

39' wall in the beeler gallery.jpeg

For my mom, who is 94, I stenciled 94 roses and highlighted the years she gave birth to her four children, and the year she was married and the year my parents celebrated their golden wedding anniversary and most importantly, she is a lover of the color pink! I have entitled the painting “Harriet”.


Uncondiditional love.jpeg

February 28, 2019

I cannot believe my grad school adventure is coming to an end!!  Today I scheduled my oral defense, on April 19, 2019 at 10:00 am with Julie, Molly and Sophie, aka, Team Thesis Dotson and of course, Ric Petry, director of the masters programs, who is present at all defenses.

I wrote a good share of the day on Wednesday jotting down random thoughts for the beginning of the thesis.  I am working to create an outline and dedications.  I am considering grouping the paintings and discussing them and their interconnectivity to each other as a start.   So far, I have the rural landscapes with seasons, the corn with its regal grandeur, the classical urns, the tools and chicken wire.

The jury is still out on the coats, I will discuss them this coming Wednesday with my thesis chair, Julie Abijanac, my last meeting with her before the installation of the work. The coats were an important part of my work and yet, they are still a “sticky wicket” in the conversations.  The paintings remain the core of the narrative, but the coats bring the context of the fashion into the work.  Hmmm all of those voices coming at me… I was warned about that aspect.

One of the students, Lauren Mitro, is going to help me work up layouts with the paintings via photo shop next Tuesday.  I will work up several plans and run them by Jo-ey Tang, the gallery curator. The wall in the Beeler Gallery is 39′ long and 16′ high and I want a clear idea where I am going to place the work before I Day.

Next piece, I need to paint an image reflecting my mom.  I have made a number of references to my dad as the farmer and the powerful mentor in my life. He was the entrepreneur and I know that is where I inherited my business genes.   However, I need to pay homage to my mother, the artist, who was the pivotal person in our family operation.  Harriet and Dale were an extraordinary team and I would not be the person that I am without acknowledging both of their efforts.

I will upload the last painting I worked on this week.  I enlarged a red plaid flannel and layered work gloves that we used on the farm.  I have two titles.  The first one was a phrase my dad said many times as he rounded up the kids to work, “Many Hands Make Work Light” or one that is funnier to me, ” Three Lefts Do Not Make a Right”.  That one reference a pile of slightly used and soiled work gloves we had to sort through and find a set, a left and a right, which was like striking gold! There were many times that a left glove was used on the right hand because the rights had mysteriously disappeared . many hands make work light.jpeg