Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Love and Joy Come to YOU!

Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a-wand'ring
So fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.

I just learned that the term "wassailing" is an old english toast that means "good health" and that the wassail refers to a glass full of spiced cider or ale. We hear and sing these words so much during the holiday season and never once have I looked up their meaning. Had I known better, I would've made sure that I wassailed frequently and indiscriminately.

This season is such a special one for me. It is a time when I seem to wake from the slumber of everyday obligations and try to focus on bringing a little magic to the season. We all do this by decorating our homes with light and color. Our tables are filled with special dishes and our glasses brim with good cheer. Things are wrapped in fancy foils and papers and ribbons cinch up our prettily wrapped gifts with neat little bows. 

Most of all, the magic that I look forward to is usually in the form of a hug and seasonal greetings from friends and family. Sometimes a friend will just show up at the studio and sit while I fuss with some last minute paintings. Other times the merriment is amplified by holiday gatherings and open studios. So I am going to add a few opportunities to raise your glass and go a-wassailing! 

Happy Holidays! I hope you can join my friends and I at Above Elite Studios for 2 nights of good cheer. We are hosting our annual "Good Tidings, GREAT Art" open studio event Dec. 7th from 5:30-9pm and Dec. 8th from 3-7pm.

8 artists, twinkling lights, a variety of beautifully crafted art gifts all bundled together with some refreshments and holiday music! What a way to start your Holiday gift giving. 

The festivities continue with 2 other special shows where you can see some of my work. "Home Made for the Holidays" at The Gallery at The Light House is a first for me. I am humbled to be included in this colorful and eclectic display of local talent. The show runs from Nov. 26th thru Dec. 21st at 744 Long Hill Road, Groton. The gallery is open M-F from 12-5 and Saturdays by appointment. Pop in and be sure to say hi to director, Chris Rose. 

Be sure to greet gallery director, Chris Rose, and enjoy this collection of artful offerings. 744 Long Hill Road, Groton.
You'll also find some of my work at the Hygienic Art Gallery (79 Bank St., New London) where the collection for the season is all priced to go home! ART = GIFTS is a show that boasts works from regional and local artists all affordable marked at $20-$200. I love the way this event makes art affordable and gifting so easy. The show is open until 5pm on Dec. 23rd. You will find my "Paper Dreams" collage series on display. 

The show is open until Dec. 23rd at 5pm. 79 Bank Street, New London 
If that isn't enough cheer I was recently given the honor of creating a small series of spanish language holiday cards by i5 Teaching Network president, Marge Anderson. The cards will be printed on 100% Recyclable Card Stock and packaged for sale at the i5 Gallery in Gales Ferry. I'm so anxious to see them! Be sure to give a shout out to Marge Anderson and see if you can order your handful of cards. You can also see the orginal 5"x7" paintings at my studio during "Good Tidings, GREAT Art" along with a handful of postcard reproductions. 

Inspired by Three Kings Day. This card is one of 3 offered by i5 Teaching Network.  ©Millie Donovan

Monday, April 23, 2012

Spring Fling Fiesta! ARRIBA Elite Studios!!! May 4th & 5th

What a powerful feeling it is to host such a special event! Just think...all your favorite people in one room sharing their artwork and a glass of sangria (or 2), listening to not just one but 5 fabulous musicians, having an extraordinary selection of art and jewelry gifts to choose from for Mom's Day, meeting new people, talking about art or your plans for the summer. How fun to have YOU there!

Not only do we promise to bring you all of these things but this time around we are having some piñata fun and are stuffing a little paper donkey with artful surprises and sweets! Every purchase made at the Spring Fling Fiesta will earn you the chance to win this colorful treasure. Juanito (the name I have given the piñata) will be happy to go home with the winner where we hope they will bust him open to find all the goodies!

The fiesta and FUN are not complete without this is your official invitation from ME!

Spring Fling Fiesta!
A 2–Day Open Studio Event

Friday, May 4th, 5:30-9pm
Saturday, May 5th, 10am-4pm

* Bring your friends and plan on shopping for MOM!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Simplicity and Movement..."My Friend Maia" by Julia Warr

I am in love with this short film. Beautiful as it is, it proves that life is a series of simple movements and just as we think we are at the end one can still embrace its glorious mornings. May you forever enjoy your mornings and days filled with music, flowers and the wind on your face. Thank you Julia Marr for this lovely tribute to your friend, Maia.

My friend Maia from julia warr on Vimeo.

Friday, February 17, 2012

In the Blink of an Eye

Every time we blink,
a moment passes,
our life is altered,
children grow up,
flowers bloom and wilt,
feathers float away.
Life flies,
passing us by
and we forget
to take the time,
to really see...
We can't remember our youth,
our passions die,
we are blind.
Hold out your hand,
look in my eyes,
hold on tight because
this moment, too, will go by
in the blink of an eye.

-Millie Donovan © 2012

Rainbow Dancers, © Millie Donovan, 2011

Italian Dreaming, ©Millie Donovan, 2010

Off the Cliffs of Monhegan, ©Millie Donovan, 2011

Thursday, February 16, 2012

You Are You Are by Lucy Schwartz...

Sometimes we are witness to the perfection of poetry, music and beauty coalescing in a song that is so sweet and simple it makes our heart skip. Here is the little shooting (or shall I say) rising star that I heard and had the pleasure of meeting recently. Thank you Miss Lucy Schwartz for these 4 little words..."you are, you are".

Thursday, February 9, 2012

In order to fly, you need wings...

Tiny Treasure series © Millie Donovan 2011

In order to fly, you need wings. It seems quite obvious really. Anything that we do in life, we need the unconditional support of loved ones, friends and colleagues. It is a lot to ask. It is a lot to expect but no matter how brave we pretend to be, the last few steps, the moment before we jump, that little second prior to the curtain rising...we hang on until we are lifted by encouragement, applause, or just a simple look of pride.

So now, as I close my eyes, I am reminded of the people that have seen me take those tentative steps towards the wind. My friend who took time out of her busy day and helped me choose some photographs for an upcoming juried show. My husband who sees my work as a legacy worthy of being left to our children. The hours spent in a car with another close friend who listened and nodded and interjected when I was working through a problem.

Every friendship, every exchange, every conversation is like a feather. Because of the connections we make...we will someday SOAR.

"But hopes are Shy Birds flying at a great distance seldom reached by the best of Guns."
John James Audubon

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Searching for acceptance...

The morning of. By the time I got there, most of the artist were inside
registering and hanging. I was number 181.

It is that time of year. A mid-winter bacchanalia where anyone can squelch their egos and connect with their inner-id! It's time for the annual Salon des Indépendants hosted by the Hygienic Art Gallery in New London, CT. In it's 33rd year it makes good on the promise to provide a no holds barred environment allowing for the least repressed group of people ever to congregate in one space. Modeled after the parisian movement of the 19th century, the Hygienic's Salon des Indépendants is a direct protest to the rigidity of the art establishment. It is a middle finger proudly marketed and displayed for all to enjoy and take part in.

"Great Day" by Millie Donovan (me) was hung near a ranting
valentine featuring Mel Gibson. You can see Laura Gaffke's piece
on the lower right hand corner of the far wall. Her umbrella series
added color and joy to the Hygienic walls.

My husband is not a fan of this show. He argues that the show only serves to demean serious art and artists. That the work demonstrating craft and intention and YES beauty (at least in his opinion) is lost among the toilet tissue poems and peep sculptures. Well, he may have a point, but I whole-heartedly disagree! This is an opportunity for ALL artists (serious or not) to pull out all the stops and make a what if inspiration was found on the wall of the men's room. I say embrace it...all of it! Put on your best leather pants, pull out your spiked collar and find those pieces that you were too afraid to show. Better yet make something just for the Salon and get there early so that you can display it on the best wall!

Laura Gaffke and I found fellow artist, Ted Genard.
His piece "The Art Fan" can be seen directly in between Ted and myself.
We had so much fun finding a place on the walls.
(The coveted step stool is right behind us.)

Most of the fun is in finding a spot and commandeering the only step stool in the joint in order to hang it, then waiting for the crowd to come. Lined up for a block outside the doors of the gallery will be hundreds of people just waiting to catch a glimpse of the show that promises the forbidden.

You may ask yourself, "how does a girl that paints rainbows, balloons and butterflies manage to fit in this orgiastic environment?" To that I would have to answer that I am breaking all the rules! I do not pretend to make a point, I come as I am, and leave just the same. My protest...I leave a little bit of light and love in the midst of satire and brooding. The best compliment of the day was when a fellow participant (that was in line to take the much coveted step stool away from me) asked which piece was mine. He proceeded to barely look at it then said..."eh, cute", to which I replied; "thank you, that was exactly what I was going for!" Maybe next year I will paint bunnies!

The show opened on January 28th and will run through February 11th. Be sure to stop by and see what it's all about. Don't forget to look for my balloons titled "Great Day" on the far wall of the first gallery (right next to the ranting Mel Gibson, heart shaped valentine). What fun!