Tag Archives: abstract art

Mistakes will be made. They will be mended.

 I drop the ball. I fall down. I get up. I try again. I never finished my 32 days. I fall asleep every night with an unfinished to do list and you know what? It is ok, I think. A very good friend of mine once told me that I could have it all, just not right now.

I have had a series of massive fails as of late and it is humbling. I typically manage pretty well and take care of business. Failure is humbling in that it reminds me that I must pay attention to my connections. If connections to people, ideas, my body are not mindfully cultivated, they fall away and fall away quickly. The connection I feel to the work that I have created over the past two years is immense. I thought that I was clearheaded about why I make art until I was sitting at a lecture at an art education conference and a woman said that creativity occurs within giving and receiving. I was floored. The statement was so simple. Connectivity through making, giving, and receiving on all levels is exactly what draws  me to the creative process. I have always made work with a social message having to do with what people do for each other and I’ve found my spirituality in scientific theory about cellular and molecular connectivity. Energy, intention, and action from big to small is central to my creative process.

Now that I have this clarity in my work, I am ready to paint again. It is my goal to host a happening in which the viewer/participant determines the worth of pieces within a new body of work and in that creates a connection through the trade of goods, services or currency. The art is in the giving and receiving. All I need is a venue.

I am also ready to seek the same kind of clarity in my own world, my own interactions. I want to give and to receive in balance.  Time to dust myself off and move forward. Who’s in?


Day Three

Wow. Umm. It is a lot harder to find time to paint with a full-time job and two big boys than it was when I was a stay at home momma with a sleepy infant and a toddler in preschool. All the same, it still feels so damn good to clear a few inches of clutter from the drafting table in the studio and just make something. Wyatt painted right along side me this time. The little bear is really growning up.

Anywho, it has been a looooong week and I am worked over. A nice, long post coming your way on Sunday evening.  For tonight, some eye candy in the form of a close up of Day Three.

String theory

My New Lover

I’ve fallen in love with someone new. He’s sweet and he sticks around. His name is homemade wheat paste. I had forgotten the beauty of this simple substance. Back in my art school days we used wheat paste (all be it store bought) for all sorts of things.

Milo and I worked on this wheat paste Jonny.

On Monday night I set out to whip up a batch of paste and realized how simple and cheap it is to make. I’m asking myself why I just ordered $150 worth of glue for my classroom when my students could actually get a little science lesson and make a few batches themselves.

“How?”, you ask?

Alakazam! Glue!

This new-ish discovery could not come at a more perfect time. I have been fussing about trying to get in the groove of making art again and I have found that I am just plain tired of painting flat pictures. I am a tactile girl. I have a degree in sculpture. I want to make things out of things I don’t have to buy. Things that I can re-purpose.

A few months ago my fifth grade students did a project based on various Earthworks artists like Robert Smithson . I gave each student a piece of cardboard, some brown packing paper, colored tissue paper, and some art paste. They were instructed to create a work of art with a three-dimensional pattern. My students came up with some of the most beautiful and interesting collages I had seen in a long time.

Ms. Mikayla

This week I’ve been playing around with the paste and paper. As I was working with the notion of creating a relief version of some of the motifs and images I’ve been using this past year, I started to recognize the circle not only as a place holder but also as a container, a holding place.

As the circle develops into three dimensions it either becomes a sphere or a cylinder. A cylinder is the basic shape of nests, barnacles, dare I say it, a birth canal. Sorry, more about containment once I’ve worked it all out in my brain.

I am so damn excited to be making something new. It’s like the days after a first kiss. Can’t sleep, can’t concentrate, must be with my new love. Creativity, you give me butterflies.

Still tinkering...

Oh, blog.

Damn you blog. You give me anxiety. I give you no love or attention anymore. I think of all sorts of things to write and have tons of stories and pictures to share. I just can’t seem to put finger to keyboard. Oh well. I am always really good and starting things and sometimes good at keeping them up. Fits and starts. That’s me.

A little taste of something new

Any who, I wanted to make sure no one misses my all out media blitz for my new show opening on June 10th. Lots of new fun stuff to be seen and purchased.  Check out the flyer below for all the details. There will be all sorts of tasty wines on special. Let’s get dolled up, have some drinks, and talk about art.


Um, yeah. even the notion of making declarative statements makes me uneasy. Writing an artist’s statement is no joke. I want to sound smart and my work be interesting. I need it to make sense and I have to make it sound like I’m solving some problem or making something really cutting edge. Yikes! Here it is (towards the bottom of the post) in it’s pretty finished form and I’m well on my way to having things packaged and ready to ship. If I was nervous last week…

our latest collaboration

Procrastination is not my friend. I can find a million things to occupy my mind besides what I’ve set out to do like, getting super cute hair cuts, buying Thundercats toys on ebay,crafty things, cleaning projects (Milo’s closet must be clean before I can work on this), hanging at my brother’s house pretending to like football ( I do like his company), etc, etc. so I got a lot done and now it’s nine  on Sunday night and I’ve just now finished.

I think Wyatt likes my hair

For the luckiest kid in the world...Two Lion-Os and only one comes with chew marks on it's hand

As I was writing earlier today, Milo wanted to know what I was doing and I told him that I was writing about why I make art. I asked him why he likes to make art. First he insisted that he type his name  and then he told me to type his own artist’s statement:

Milo Fessler

I like when everyone likes my art. I like when everyone likes me. I like people. I like Mommy. I really like when I bring them to the art show. Everyone loves my art. I love everyone, yeah! I like to make art because it makes people happy.

I love you Uncle Daniel and Bobo and King Kong Bungee (Bundy). The end.

King Kong Bundy is our good buddy. Jon and I got him on our honeymoon.

That about sums it up. Maybe I should hire Milo to write my statement. Here’s mine:

The act of making marks has been central to my life since I was a very young child. I am drawn to creating something out of nothing. As an art teacher in a high-poverty school, as a parent of two boys and as a painter, my everyday life is all about making new things happen with little resources. It is my goal to make work that is representative of living a creative life and to share that work on a larger scale.

I begin each watercolor with a simple mark or wash of color. I then move intuitively through the work layering washes and marks created from a brush, stencil or everyday objects like bottle caps and spools of thread. Caps and spools create circles of various sizes. The circle is the first mark that children make to represent people, places and things. I use circles as a child would, a universally representational symbol. My paintings are a bold and earthy response to my appreciation for the tensions that exist in everyday life, the desire for both simplicity and complexity, large and small spaces, inner and outer worlds, natural and urban landscapes, solitude and relationships, excitement and calm. Through my use of the most basic elements of art, color, line and shape, I am able to create a balanced and storied environment. In each new painting, the viewer is able to find connections to the contradictory nature of life.

In my most recent body of work, I completed 100 paintings in 100 days. Each painting is an 8” x 8” work made in one day. This classic exercise allowed me to bring painting into my everyday life. My three year old son made art alongside me almost every day. Making art has become central to our lives and we continue to express ourselves good, bad, and ordinary each day.

Make sense?

It’s on Like Donkey Kong

You missed us, didn't you?

Nervous hands typing….

Dear diary,

It’s been a long time since my last entry.  Nothing much has been happening around here except perfecting awkward family photos and eating large quantities of food. I think we all needed a break from school and setting goals and achieving them (except I’m now a week into P90x and no, I will not be posting before pictures). Jon’s back to school today and it seems fitting to start up again. I will still be posting all about being a momma, doing what you love, and living a creative life. The new name? I think we’ll go with Drawing a Blank, Creative Living and Parenting.

Paintings are bigger in 2011

I wanted my first post project post to be full of wit and charm and excitement but I’m feeling a little gun shy.  I’m still working on the same piece I started on the first of the year and I haven’t gotten new images shot or my press packets together.  I’m just not working at the same brisk pace as when the project was looming large. I think I will start to declare arbitrary deadlines here to make myself accountable to my interweblog readers. My first arbitrary deadline will be to get my gallery submission packets together by Sunday and have them shipped to at least 5 galleries by Monday…I already feel more in control and motivated, thanks blogosphere.

Ok enough backpedaling, I’ve been snuggling with everyday life and that’s not a bad thing. My kids and my man are being lavished with attention and baked goods (got my first cavity yesterday, goodbye sugary treats, I’ll miss you terribly).

I have however, made some really awesome trades, here’s the run down:

Traded for:

Sweet day of the week hand towels and kid napkins from my very talented aunt Kathy

A kids bike trailer

A pair of See Kia Run shoes for Milo and a hand sewn cape and cuffs set

5 bottles of really good vino

2 lbs of coffee every two weeks from Batdorf and Bronson (soooo good)

Morning, perfected.

Hand thrown mugs with which to drink the delicious coffee by Tony Deland (he’ll do custom orders if you ask him nicely)

A massage for my dear mum (Katherine Nelson is amazing if you are in the Denver area)

Paintings by Alyson Kahn

The talented Mrs. Kahn

A logo for Fessler Masonry from  Lauren Carbon at Slice.

If we’re still working on a trade or a purchase, message me and let’s get it together!

P.S. After spotting Jon’s Thundercats comic, Milo has become desperate to get his hands on any  figurines, will trade art, left arm, etc…


Dear Jon,

The show at Slice. Check it out and support local, small business!

We found our old camcorder this weekend and watched home movies from our wedding reception and when Milo was a baby. We stood there watching all of these moments of our life together getting all choked up. The fact is that Jon and I are giant, sentimental dorks. We say dorky things and look pretty dorky most of the time. But in the majority of the videos we’re laughing and that cannot be a bad thing.

Milo's first sale!

Being married to your best friends has its perks. There is someone there to tell you you have buggies or that knows never to leave dirty socks in the living room, someone who will say nice things to you on demand (although he might get sick of you constantly asking for sweetsies),someone who will be honest about your work, someone who will laugh at your really bad jokes and someone who will always be there to let you sniff their beard. But marriage ain’t always the easiest thing. Living your life tethered to someone can be the most comforting thing in the world and the most constraining. Sometimes you feel so close that you’re one person and other times you’re worlds apart, and that’s ok as long as you know that a life well lived is a life lived with your partner.

Thanks, shnarf. xoxo

Milo-"Mom, this is you when you were a little girl with glasses."

But that Jon Fessler, I’ve loved that man ever since I walked into the house on 13th st. Five years after I had first met him and he stood up when I came through the door and said, “Hi, I’m Jon.” in a super awkward way. We went to see Hot Water Music and he stayed in the under 21 section to keep me company. The next night he grabbed my elbow and asked me on a date. On our first date we drank a pitcher of PBR and ate bread sticks. The next day he brought a grocery bag full of daisies into the coffee shop where I worked and I was totally gaga. Before he headed to Alaska for the summer, he gave me his Super Friends pillow case and plastic mug with a smiley face and feet to remember him by. We spent the following summer totally in LOVE, exchanging letters and packages while Jon lived in a tent inside of a tent down by a river. You’ve never heard a more romantic love story, have you?

Love LOVE young love

Almost ten years have gone by. We’ve built a home and a family complete with a rottweiler and a shed made out of shipping pallets. He’s still my best friend and he still sometimes makes me crazy. We had a family weekend this weekend; bacon egg and cheese biscuits for dinner, checking on the art and picking up Milo’s first check, donuts and beer, bad tv (after Milo went to bed) and lots of chit chat with conversations that start with, “you know what would be awesome…” and planning our future in a million and one directions. All while drinking tea and snuggling our kids.

It can be really hard to remember that people don’t know what you need until you tell them. Men are from Mars women are from Venus…But, the weather is cool and the house is warm and we’re staying in. Love you Papa bear.

Day seventy-two

Day seventy-one

PS We’ve made some great trades so far, keep ’em coming!