Teacher Convention Days

We had yesterday and today off for Teacher’s Convention.  If you didn’t know I am a public school art teacher.  I usually spend one of these days not at the convention but, in the studio and at an art museum.  The convention doesn’t have much for me and it is a waste of my quality art making time to go.

Yesterday I got ready to work in the studio, and that is a task in itself.  The OCD or whatever I have makes me clean the house first, allowing me to then work. Makes no sense as my work is more important than what the house looks like.

Jimmy came to paint with me today- he’s my favorite Renaissance man friend (I wonder how he feels about this label I have attached to him). He worked at the standing easel and I on the table top, next to each other. Jim is a musician and a really good “untrained” artist.  He just can paint, and does it clean and pure with intention.  We had some sort of concert music on (now I know what the heck it was…) and just made art.

The kids at school are working on their art show pieces for “In The Garden” and one class is creating owls.  So I told them I’d make one too.  Ugg …  it’s terrible.  So I worked on that a bit and started just a random piece.  I put a black frame around it to see if it’s ready… Don’t know what direction it wphoto 2 (5)orks just yet. That was my 1st convention day. Continue reading


So I’m at that point, is what I’m making art or crap?

Firstly, I’m working with collage and that can instantly become Eric Carlisle like immediately.  Especially that I’m working with an animal subject.  God that sounds like crap just typing it.  I wanted to do an owl, crap again… Embarrassing. Well, it could be a freaking lighthouse, so it’s not as crappy as it could be. On a side note I did make a lighthouse for an old boyfriend once, out of spite and anger at his innocent taste (I’m being kind here). He hated it. Notice the “old” next to boyfriend.

Where was I?  Ok, yes, crap.  Well it started off well with lots of layering and hand made papers, then I put purple tulle in. Yeah, purple tulle over an overly shiny bronze background.  No, I’m not putting in an image.

Reason for this post, how do we know if what we make is art or not?  I don’t know, in the past I’ve made some truly good work and some pure crap.  Often I think when I work over a piece that sucks, the suckiness comes through. And this piece does have a bad painting under it… like covering up those extra pounds with a big dress. You still know what’s under there.

Wish me luck-

I ain’t no CHICKEN

Mixed Media with oil stick

Grace 2014

I’m not afraid of life.

Because I woke up today I get to take Jake to work, make is tea and listen to him practice guitar.

I get to brew pumpkin flavored coffee, get dressed, care for the chickens and feed the dog.

I get to go to Meetinghouse and sit in silence with like minded people.

I get to drive to Millville, pick up past work from a gallery and drop more off.  I get to write, clean, exercise, cook, food shop: picking from hundreds of thousands of items from rows and rows of giant shelves.  Today is a day in my life that could possibly feel, too busy, annoying, and driven by responsibility.  I know that I have woken up alive and decide, that every movement is because I CAN.  So with unconditional gratitude I thank the Universe for this day.


Just Journaling

This is not about art, it’s just about my life and I happen to be an artist.

Had a damn crappy couple of weeks, and that sucks when you’re such a positive person.  Most people cringe when I say stupid things like, “It could always be worse…”

Nice compassionate personality here.

Well, I’m now in the dumps and well I guess I deserve it.  Spreading my happy-go-lucky shit all around.

I did break a mirror last week, whatever.  Yes, I can be superstitious, atheist, religious or witchy.  I believe in it all.

So, I’ve asked the Universe for help and got nothing.

I really need to pour it onto a canvas or archival clayboard to be more specific.  Got these new oil sticks…

But freaking life is in the way.

Get out of my studio people, sickness leave us, animals heal…. THIEVES GET OUT OF MY LIFE-

I want my alone time to make art and cry.

The Artist’s Mind


It’s the waking up that sends me moving
worried that the moment will escape my memory
trivial things annoy my pictures
great things are there if I am
don’t need me, let me need you
weakness is a burden
too many things to do in this life
to be bogged down with unimportant things
a self centered challenge
only need to be lost within the depth
liking the deep-end as the shallow side is so transparent

the mind that is muddy and opaque gives me wonder and want for conversation.

darkness brings peace and silences it
the break that is welcome


photo (19)

Encaustic 2014

I like this new piece but, it looks  much like other encaustic art… doesn’t say Cucci-Smith. Feels like I stole it from another site. Maybe it looks too good to me… Ha! Maybe that’s it, it looks like someone else’s art that I would say, “Hey that’s awesome?”. Hmmm… what an unusual and awkward thought.  I usually know when my art is good and when it isn’t.  It has nothing to do with opinion, it has to do with art facts.

I had a series of work from the late 1990’s to early 2000’s that was so, so, good.

“Green” Mixed media on paper 2002

It’s hard to work at that pace when life is constantly changing.  Then I did a series of work in 2010 that was mediocre at best, that work sold out.  That’s the series of work I am least proud of, and well, 20 pieces are hanging in South Jersey homes. Ha! Do I laugh at myself for showing the work? Or better yet do I embrace the series, knowing it has led me to a better grouping of work?  Yes, the latter of course.  However, I often cringe in embarrassment when I see that series.  So anyway I have yet to decide what I feel about this piece – I know it does feel, impersonal.

Perhaps it is still UNFINISHED – as usual…. ah the plight of being an artist. My mind is never quiet, that must explain my need to be alone so much.  But, that is another blog- The Artist’s Mind (coming soon).


DNAI sit staring at this piece…
Idea started –  now the waiting.
The all important pause that will decide the evolution of a painting.
The record still spins but the needle hovers above…
I almost don’t want to post the pic…
Layers in art are secretive.
But, the understanding and sharing of it has to happen.
I can’t let the lighthouse win.

This really super cool thing happened to me…

University of The Arts Philadelphia

University of The Arts Philadelphia

I teach art classes to kids during the summer from my studio. Last week I had this really talented boy Lex, take one of my camps for the first time. He just summers down here and when he and his mom came in she asked him to tell me about his “Mom Mom”. He went on to tell me she is a professor at The University of The Arts. I told him that was so cool, as it was where I received my Masters Degree in Art Ed. His mom said they knew that as they read my bio, and told me her name is Barbara Suplee.

There are maybe 3 teachers in my college past that I remember (meaning made an impact on me, I have a select memory); Michael Kendall, color theory teacher at Montclair (deceased), Susan Rodriguez, U of A and Barbara Suplee, U of A . So this was a “cool” moment, It really made my day. Continue reading

Artists and “Other” Artists

photo-8-225x300I have a friend who is also an artist, a very good and rather well known artist. I have been to their studio and home many times. However, they have never seen my studio.

My studio, also known as “The Barn” started as a run down wood carving studio of famed Harry Shourds. I have nursed it back from a dusty, dirty, run down, 275 year old barn, and turned it into a rather well known community place for classes, parties, etc. It also is my studio. I am grateful as this is a special place, a gem, and a dream for any artist who has only a bedroom to work out of. I know what that’s like… we all do. Continue reading