Tag Archives: delanie holton fessler

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

“I don’t know how to express myself sometimes when I need to be properly different.”

I think about you all the time dear blog. I yearn to update you but instead I watch episodes of Trailer Park Boys and fall asleep with my laptop perched on my belly. The last couple of months have been intense and fantastic and well, needless to say my life is filled to the brim. My kids are becoming wonderful, intense little humans, I will be teaching creative, project based learning to K-3 kiddos next year, and the art game is hustling. I was actually a key note speaker at a creatives mixer at the MCA last week (I spoke about bartering). Which leads me to this post.

For one reason or another, my barter work has taken off and it seems that more so than ever, people are attaching to the idea that they can trade a little something or a service and get a work of art. It is as if the act of trading has become so entrenched in my work that it is hard for me to view a piece without thinking of the connection that it might create. The trade is the performance and the painting becomes that backdrop. Maybe the art is in the action.


One of my latest trades, a vintage ukulele. Now who want to barter for lessons?

If we’ve traded, thank you. Our life is filled with little reminders of how a simple exchange can move us forward and create connections that last longer than dollars in a bank account. Check out this blog post about my work on Jennifer’s Review from one of my favorite artist, writer, and momma, Alyson Kahn.

“Like” my Facebook artist page for free art, shows, and trade info.

I updated my webpage and created a new fan page for my art on facebook. Be one of the first 100 to “Like” my new Facebook page and be entered to win a  painting from the 100 Days series.

I’m an A student

I went to the top schools in the country as a child and was always inculcated with the notion that a formal education is the single most important factor in one’s success (that and connections). I have a Master’s Degree in Education. And as I sat drinking wine with the neighborhood mamas on Sunday night listening to them talk about homeschooling, unschooling, and choosing when and if their children will go to school I wanted to jump to the defense of public education. Of course your kids need to go to school everyday! Of course your kids need to learn to read and write according to the pacing guides! How else would the teachers ever manage to control the chaos?!

Milo's first day of school

The fact of the matter is that no one, not even children learn well when they are told they have to. The most successful people, by whatever social measure, be it,  financial or happiness, or whatever, are those who seek new experiences and information. Those who are able to identify issues and solve problems. Creativity is about seeking, synthesizing, making and doing. So let’s get to the core of the matter. Why do we even go about teaching our children to read and write and to do math in the first place? We insist upon these three skills because we need them to decode our world. But what good is being able to read, write, and do math if you don’t have the additional skill set of creativity?

Public school as we know them are a relatively new phenomenon that developed along side the factory lines of the industrial revolution. I do not intend for my children to be factory workers (so be it if they are and they love it). I do intend for my children to be creatives. So where does this leave the mother, the perpetual A student, rule follower, and teacher?

The day before his first day of school

I am reminded of when at the age of 11 I loaded my gear into a van with 7 other girls and set off to climb mountains. I learned more about myself inside those experiences than I ever did sitting at a desk learning about other people who climbed tall mountains.

I do believe that there is a place for group education. Learning among  peers is a valuable experience. Having mentors, teachers, and experts guide your thinking is important too. In an ideal world I would be able shepherd a small group (say, enough to fit in a really sweet van) of mixed aged kiddos through the early years of their educational life through child centered experiential learning and creative play.

For now I will compromise and do my best to make my classroom a place where that kind of learning can happen for the 43 minutes a week I see each of my 700 or so students. And as for my own kids, they have lots of time to discover their world at home and Milo gets the added bonus of learning some great potty talk and even gets to have the occasional glazed donut or purple Tampico for his afternoon snack at school.

To make is to give, to give is to make.

Are you there blog? It’s me, Delanie.  The last time I blogged was also the first day I went back to work. Coinsidence? I think not. I am slowly crawling out of the black hole that is teaching full time and parenting two very small children with a husband who is working his butt off to daddy, work, and go to school. Sheesh. It has been an adjustment for sure!

I think you forgot your books.

After helping 153 or so kids discover their creative potential, I am afraid I have little creativity left for myself. By the end of the night I seem to have just enough brain cells to read three pages of a book before it lands sqaurely on my nose and I am out cold until someone wakes up needing something or other. Sound familiar parents? I am not alone. This business is tough. Tough but good.

One of my fourth graders made this awesome brain! So many things to think about...

I don’t always get to see outright the rewards of parenting  and for a bit I was questioning whether or not our philosophy of less stuff and more love was going to work and then…Milo went and did a super good guy thing.

My little entrepreneurs

On Sunday we went to sell some of our old clothes at Buffalo exchange (a hipster consignment-type shop). Milo wanted money to get a new bow tie or something or other but only had enough to play pacman. On the way home he saw more than a few people beggin on street corners with signs. He insisted that when he got home he would make a sign and stand on the corner so that he could get some money. We explained to him that he could not do tha because we have a home and money and we can work for things that we want. I suggested that he could have a hot cocoa stand if he wanted to earn some extra cash. He set it up and within an hour he had earned $5 (thanks Heather and Tom!). He was so pround of himself that he rushed upstairs and put the money in his piggy bank. We were already excited because he had decided to deposit his money the next day in his savings account. But something else happened.

After dinner the doorbell rang and a homeless man selling copies of the Voice was at the door. Just as I was shooing him away, Milo heard him say that he would accept loose change. Milo told the man to wait right there. He proceeded to empty his hard earned money out of his piggy bank and give it to the man. The gentleman told Milo thank you and that he would then be able to get a warm room for the night. That’s my boy, a giving heart at the age of four and a half.

It's time to make something...

Milo and Wyatt have got me thinking that giving is a beautiful thing and part of having a  giving heart is giving  something to one’s self every once in a while. Something that downright nourishes the soul. I have felt so underwater since July and I need to resurface. With a little momma TLC in mind, I am instating, “Make Something Mondays.” I am dedicating Monday evenings to taking care of myself and cooking up some creativity in the studio. I’ll do a little bloggin’ and let y’all know how it goes. What to make, what to make, mhmhmm.


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.