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1 year, 7 months ago Comments Off on Encyclopedia of Everything

Encyclopedia of Everything

encylopedia of everything

 

I love challenges and so when Hundred Dollar Gallery asked if I wanted to do a show with local author and dear friend Gary Barwin, I was very interested.  I was wanting to do something bookish and so, I decided to create collages out of a set of encyclopedias from 1952.  I am allowed to add up to 5 extra pieces of ephemera to each collage but each piece will have paper only from one volume from the set.  It’s been interesting to combine such abstract images together to create a cohesive piece. I have a handful more to finish and I am very excited to share so I hope that you will join us at Encyclopedia of Everything. 

1 year, 7 months ago Comments Off on Bringing Back RED

Bringing Back RED

MarRED

In 2002 I started a performance series called RED:A Night of Live Performance at Toronto’s Lula Lounge.  It was a time when i was a dancer and an actor and knew artists from all different worlds.  I often wondered why each world lived in a bit of a silo with brilliant artists not knowing other artists, so i wanted to create an event where they could come together, perform a short piece, and meet others who might be interested in collaborating in the future.

The event ran for 5 years, and it was such an amazing time.  RED hosted over 500 theatre, dance, music, circus, spoken word, comedy and visual artists.  We had stunning solos and brilliant group pieces.  Every 2 months we would watch a stunning spectacle of talent and art.  I always left inspired and hopeful for the world.

When i first moved to Hamilton, I felt like I couldn’t do this sort of event here.  I didn’t know the arts world well enough to know what would work here.  And now, after the past 4 years I have learnt about this community, and have come to the realization that it too needs some sort of place where artists of different disciplines can meet together with themselves and audiences could come together to create stronger bonds in community.

I am starting in a small way.  Except for Kenneth is a stunning little restaurant on Ottawa St that is full of character.  The space holds about 32 audience members with an artistic team of about 8.  The first show was sold out and the response was grand.

It is my hope to feature some of Hamilton’s finest artists together with artists from surrounding communities.  I truly believe that when we meet other creatives then we too are inspired.  Come along on Thursday and let me know if you are too.

1 year, 7 months ago Comments Off on Wise Words

Wise Words

Mixed

1 year, 7 months ago Comments Off on 25 Random Things About Me!

25 Random Things About Me!

meportrain

I have just started Andrea Scher’s Brave Blogging  e-Course. It’s been a long time since I have posted with any sort of regularity so i decided that I need some help with blogging. Our first prompt is 25 Random Things About Me! Enjoy!

1.  25 is my favourite number.  It’s the day of my birthday. February 25, It’s my mom’s birthday, May 25, and it’s my wedding anniversary, June 25 as well.  It has also been in my last 4 phone numbers.

2.  I have a strange desire to make any grouping of numbers into 25.  It makes no sense but i love to do this, and it gives me some deep seated joy.  I just typed out an example, but it made no sense whatsoever, so you will simply need to believe me.

3.  For much of my life, I have had crazy hair colours.  Currently it’s blue and purple, but for many years it was red.  Next week, it’s becoming teal.

4.  I have 3 animals.  Two cats and a dog. I will only ever have black cats as they are often the first cats to be euthanized in a shelter.

5.  I met Gene Wilder once in a bookstore and we had the loveliest conversation.  He was sad and beautiful all at the same time.

6.  When i was a kid I have 1079 photos of Michael Jackson collaged onto my wall.  I saw him in the Jackson’s Victory Tour when i was about 12 years old. I was really angry at my mother when she made me wear a snowsuit because it was an outdoor concert in October and it was very cold.  Jackson also died on June 25, which I will never forget.

7.  About 12 years ago, I decided that after a whole life of being a performer that I would become a visual artist.  I had no experience, and had no clue. But for 2 years, I sat in my studio and created mixed media works until they began to look like something.  Since then I have spent the past 10  years spending my time both creating and selling my art work, and performing storytelling based one woman shows.

8. For the past 25 years I have worked in bookstores.  I love books and read a LOT.

9.  I started collecting books about creativity about 23 years ago.  I had been downtown Toronto to go to a job interview at a bookstore and stopped by The World’s Biggest Bookstore (which sadly closed last year) and saw this book called Inspiration Sandwich by someone named SARK.  I read it in a park that afternoon and decided that my life would be all about creativity.

10.  I can put my fist in my mouth. I don’t do it often, but yes, i can.

11.  For a while i was a dancer who performed with all of those who had been my teachers and mentors.  I never took a dance class.

12.  When i get an good idea, no, a great idea, i can’t help but try to make it real.

13.  Immediately after my son was born via C section the power in the delivery room went out.  Due to a handful of circumstances I was pretty doped up and clearly thought that it was the end of the world.  So I decided that was the best time for me to start singing the song I had wrote for him.  Loudly. While sobbing.  The power was restored about 30 seconds after it went out.  It felt like a life time.

14.  I have dated 9 redheads and my 2 best friends growing up were redheads.

15.  When i met my husband, I wrote in my diary that i thought that I would marry him.  2 years and 5 days afterwards, I did.

16.  I often feel like a fraud.  Like, daily.

17.  I ended up on a stage with Bobby McFerrin singing a duet with him in front of 10,000 people 10 days before my wedding.  It was amazing.

18.  I used to teach creativity, storytelling and collage at a spa called Rio Caliente in Mexico. I am so sad that it has closed because it was truly a special healing place for me and others.

19.  As I am writing this, a 8 month old kitten named Chimmy lied  on top of the keyboard and urged to stop typing and pet him.  I took a few minutes to humour him as he is VERY cute.

20. I don’t like being told what to do. Which is why I never went to university.  I sometimes wish I had.

21. I LOVE books. I have books in every room in my house.  I own approximately 10,000 titles and had downsized when i moved to Hamilton 4 years ago.

22. I don’t know how to swim.

23.  I believe that grief should be talked about.  I have had my share of sadness and just wrote about it in Grief Landscapes that is a project by the great Mindy Stricke.  Check it out here.

24. My dad died 3 years after 10 years of living with multiple myeloma.  My dad was one of the kindest guys ever, and i am often so sad that he isn’t around to see my son grow up. I think my dad looked a lot like the Dalai Lama, and I am currently writing a show about him called, My Father, the Dalai Lama.  

25.  My grandfather was very dear to me. I met him when he moved her from Spain when he was 80 and when I was 15 and he lived to be 98.  I miss him a lot.

2 years, 7 months ago Comments Off on A moment for meditation

A moment for meditation

 

 

As an artist and a mother I have always found it necessary to find moments of quiet and contemplation during my busy days. In my past I tried traditional meditation again and again, and somehow it just never stuck.  Sitting still in a quiet room just didn’t work for me.  I mean, it worked, it did calm my mind, and it chilled but I so looked for something different.

Many years ago, I found the magical art of beading.  I was inspired by the work of Eleanor Wiley, a woman with an amazing story who created large beaded pieces and traveled the world talking about how it save her life.  When i met her, I became enamoured by these small pieces that I started creating.  Throughout the years, I realize that these beads that I have created were in fact my meditation.  A marriage of stillness and creativity that calmed my mind, and let me breathe deeply.

I am interested in sharing these pieces, which i call VIDA Beads, to others.  VIDA Beads are contemporary meditation pieces that offer a tactile experience to remind us of what is important in the world.  I create the pieces from beads that i have gathered from around the world.  I will be offering to sell these pieces on Etsy at reasonable prices.

To me beading is a joy.  An honour. A meditation that i hope to share with others.

 

Buddha- Vida Beads

 

Deity - Vida Beads

 

RED - Vida Beads