Monday, May 21, 2018

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Fox Haven Farm Garden Charms Workshop

Fox Haven Farm Garden Charms Workshop on May 12 was a lot of fun!
Thanks so much to the amazing Lacey Walker for the invite!
                          
It was beautiful warm day and our group of plant lovers went on a forage. Down the driveway from the teaching garden we took a right turn and were immediately in a serious vine zone! We took a few minutes to look around and identify the plants that were in the area. Abundance was the surrounding us in all directions above and below.

Trees, vines, herbs, birds, water, ya know the whole smear!
So folks set out to connect and harvest the plants with which they most identified.
Grapevine-Honeysuckle-Wisteria-English Ivy, Virginia Creeper, Bittersweet were most popular. The land on the edge of the farm road was super generous and  we were able to  relieve a tree from vines that were choking it. We all heard the tree's big sigh of relief. Yeah!
We gathered what we needed and headed back up the hill to work on the barn's patio.



Perfecto!

There was lots of space for folks to work on their charms and we reaffirmed our purpose and got started. I shared a story about the "Listen"tree sculpture that I worked on with artist Larry Jones in 2015. That piece is part of an Art on the Trails project that our county @PGParks has initiated that features artwork created from natural materials on our park trails. The original idea was to allow trail users to experience the artwork as it continues on it's natural cycle of decomposition. Listen was a vine project, with bittersweet as it's main material. I encouraged participants to allow the materials of their charms to do the same.

The resulting Charms were fun, most had the vine's leaves on them and looked almost cloaked, in green. The magic will be exposed as nature runs it's course. Bravo!


Great job everyone and thanks for sending pics of the charms in your nature space.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Gratitude Garden-What Art Offers

   This past weekend I had the first of four Gratitude Garden 2018 Events. 
   Our subject was MIXED MEDIA SELFIES!
We took a great garden tour, and I realized that I do have a lot of medicinal plants at Gratitude Garden. One new member of the garden plant family is Borage!                             I scored some seeds, from Carlos' garden last September while I visited his home in Montara CA


Borage also known as Starflower is a beautiful flowering plant that grows in the wild in the Mediterranean. It is cultivated and used widely throughout Europe for its healing properties and for a nice addition to a salad. Borage is also cultivated in the US, where it is more popular as an herbal supplement rather than a food product. The leaves are robust and have medicinal properties and the topper of the plant is a striking blue star shaped flower hence the name. The flowers are edible as well and are often found candied for cake decorations or made into sweet syrups. In Italy it is served as a side dish much like a serving of vegetables.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Happy #Arborday


I LOVE TREES!


















Great! I love trees!
I live amongst trees-the woods as my dad called them and they are my friends!

I would like to think that the trees around our home, help to keep our air a bit cleaner than it would be in our neighborhood, that is near to an AF base.
Today is one of those awesome Spring days when the trees start showing baby leaves! You know that wonderful chartreuse, that whisper of green….. 














Today I am in gratitude for the Winter sky that has amazed me
So clear and full of stars and moon. 

Now, I will enjoy the shade that our trees offer throughout the Summer.
I can see that the trees are awake and struttin their stuff, ready to roll. 


















I wish us, the birds, animals, weeds and bugs a season with the nutrients that we all need to live well and prosper!


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Mixed Media Selfies!


When we create, we plumb the depths of our being, accessing what we think, feel and believe. The more we create, the more we discover!
Mixed Media selfies are self portraits that tell a story in the moment.There are infinite possibilites for materials we can use. I've been looking around the net and love these examples.....

Registration-https://www.eventbrite.com /e/caryl-henry-alexander-artist-with-purpose-invites-you-to-gratitude-garden-2018-tickets-44822253567


Monday, April 16, 2018

Future Facing Art and Poetry: Sparks that Connect

Greetings!
This is a proposal that Poet Hiram Larew and I have submitted to Montpellier Art Center for an exhibition in their library gallery. Our vision is to weave together two distinct disciplines with multiple thematic inter-sections to explore and create.




Our recipe: 
First take Hiram's amazingly visual poetry!


BETTER SEEDS
Looking up seems early
I’m going to slip outside as soon as
sprigs poke and fences shine
Scout about until you wave me in for breakfast
I’m going to lean into my wishes
Because this is the nickel time of spring
When legs seem longer.

There are better ways of learning
Ways as ready as your bird box
There are better people
Ones who get polished by the wind
And there are better seeds
The kind that wait a year or two.

But it’s hard to wait when everything is curling
When time slips through curtains to let us know
That this chance is more than our pillows
It’s quicker than that
It’s kind of like our neighbor
Who slides a box of kale starts
Onto the porch first thing
Chuckling not to wake us.

And mix in, until well blended my own paintings and installations,
 











Cook til seared on the outside and pink on the inside. 
While hot layer with movement, sounds and color. Serve immediately!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Mixed Media Selfies Workshop May 5

Mixed Media Selfies May 5 10-3pm Gratitude Garden 
This idea came to me as I was scanning my professional slides into digital format this past Winter. When I was looking through the prints and paintings that were my artwork in the 80s and 90s, I noticed multiple self portraits from that period.
I'm so glad to see them again and I am amazed at the little snippets that they bring out from those moments. This is the earliest one I found, it's a photo silkscreen pront. It is as you can see an Ebony Magazine wig ad! The quote on the bottom left is a frequent phrase from my mommy.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Greetings friends,

You are welcome to come and share creative space with me this Summer. I decided to open the studio and garden to creative spirits to have some fun-honor nature and build community. You and your friends are welcome! I'll see you on May 5!


Friday, February 23, 2018

Papermaking with plant fibers in Delray Beach FL Feb 2018

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Yeah!
I’m in Florida, wearing flops, sunhats and tanks! 
I am so happy and appreciative to be visiting my dear friend Marcie this year. Here is a synopsis of my creative goings on and a picture of the results of my work so far. 
Pineapple leaf paper-won't come off of the mold though.
These pineapple leaves were so generously donated by The Boys Market here on Military Trail.


















How did I make this lovely pineapple paper? Well, my creative goal this year, while I am in Florida is to create some new sculptural charms with local plant fiber and I’m already at it. 

Here is a photo of the homegrown lemongrass that I planted in Marcie’s front yard last winter. The plant, I have been told was taller than 5ft and just as much around. It was trimmed back just before I arrived and the trimmings were saved for my use. So I soaked the grass in water and boiled it for way too long (12 hrs).















To be continued 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Schmitt Camp Compass Rose mural project Nature quest 2017

Everyone in PGPS comes to visit Camp Schmitt in 5th grade. And this has been true for years. I have mentioned the place to grown folks who remember their experiences there.

Summer 2017 is the first year of a partnership between PGCPS and PG Parks around a theraputic recreation experience for young people up to age 21 who attend North/Central and South county programs.

I was asked by PGParks to serve as project artist on a ground mural project. It was an ambitious project as the site was a mess and it was also quite large. 20ft diameter.


























This is what it looked like 3 days before the 3 days that I had to get it done.
There was a core group of participants for whom the camp was home base and with whom I worked each day. In addition the was a bus load of additional participants who came out each day.
For this project I designed the mural image in accordance with the desires of the PGParks and Camp Schmitt folks and with a scant idea of the skill level of our participants.


















The staff at the camp got rid of the plants that were growing in the cracks and primed the mural area and we were ready for the project. The participants were awesome!
























Everyone got into it and by the end of the week, with lots of help from the Schmitt staff, PGParks' Stewart Seal and artist Bonnie Simmonds we got it done! Absolutly beautiful! Each day there were folks who were so excited to be painting....outdoors and right there on the ground! Job well done by all!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Nature Quest 2017 Bladensberg Waterfront Park Mural

This beautiful mural was created by the PG Park's 2017 Summer Youth Employment Program. 12 young people, totally connected to their phones formed their own work groups, ideas and went at it.

The physical visual results are awesome. As project artist I am left feeling some kinda way about the fact that I had so little interaction with the youth, even though I held space with them for 6 good days.

I think that I made a pivotal mistake when I first arrived into their space. They had been working together for a month and had already developed a work team culture.
The mistake being that I asked a couple of the youth to put their phone away while we work together.
That moment was pivotal in how we were to engage. I saw the look in their eyes, no one was going to comply with my request and I essentially thought  that my creative work party was not going kick off...ever!

I tried to build that bridge to collaboration again the next day by offering a compromise-no phones while we organize our work day and share ideas and that the painting time would be ok to be plugged in. After reaching out with no response, I decided to stand back-and be ready to support when asked.

In my nature programs interaction is crucial. We are all sharing that natural setting which in this case was dockside Anacostia river. I'm able to bring light aspects that are present in our environment that may not necessarily be noticed. For me when 12 different folks have 12 different head phones on, listening to 12 different things, that I have no idea what they are listening to...how do I find the inter-sectionality?
In this case each participant gave it their all and the results are awesome, they were happy with their work and as you can see were also proud of what they had accomplished.

I am left with a challenged mind and heart as to how to have better connected with PG Park's 2017 Summer Youth Employment participants.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

2017 NATURE QUEST projects with PG Parks

The PG Parks' Summer youth campers gave a nature centered interpretation to Muhammad Ali's famous quote!

Vansville CC

















Bladensberg CC




















THESE YOUNG ARTISTS SHOW THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF THE GRACE OF THE BUTTERFLY AND IT'S PLACE IN OUR NATURAL WORLD AND THE STRENGTH OF OUR BEES, THEIR CROSS POLLINATION WHICH IS THE GATEWAY OF CREATIVITY!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Art Tells the truth about Dollar Tree Products

BY THE WAY I NEVER DID HEAR BACK FROM THE PERSON WHO ENGAGED ME IN THIS WORK. I'M DISAPPOITINTED AS I SURE AS HELL DID NOT DO THE WORK FOR THE LITTLE BIT OF $ THAT WAS GIVEN IN RELATIONSHIP TO MY HOURS SPEND CREATING. I DID THIS WORK IN SUPPORT OF GETTING THE ORGANIZATION'S MESSAGE OUT INTO THE WORLD IN A POWERFUL VISUAL WAY. I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT WAS ABOUT...ARE WE BUILDING COMMUNITY OF WHAT!

Today is the day that we have all been working toward. 
Visual art and action partner today at the Coming Clean action today at the Dollar Tree Inc Shareholder Meeting in Norfolk VA.

The demand is for the Dollar Tree Inc to do the right thing NOW! 

I am so excited to have had the opportunity to visualize the real deal about the products that we buy at these dollar stores in our communities.



This process was interesting as when I was asked to create a visual presence for this important action I thought....like....I do that with community-it is the community's voice that I would want to be on the art...
No problem since we have Dollar Tree, Dollar General, 5 below and various independent dollar stores in our community-so I went to downtown Clinton, MD for inspiration. And this is what manifested in love and solidarity!