Monday, September 27, 2010

My Secrets Cry Aloud

I may be a lot of things but secretive isn’t one of them. In fact, I am so lacking in mystery and reticence I have often been accused of offering too much information! For my tastes, I have never been particularly attracted to or intrigued by people who are guarded, evasive or withholding – as if stinginess makes what they are keeping back increase in value! I like things right out in the open where I can experience and enjoy them or I will quickly lose patience and interest. 

This includes everything about the creative process. I have no problem telling and showing how I got where I did, and I love when other artists reveal the working and thought process behind their finished products, as many of you new blogfriends out there do, and for which I thank you.

I firmly believe that we do not somehow give away our power when we share these things, and are in fact all made stronger and better by the exchange.

Realistically speaking, there are definitely issues of copyright infringement that arise when sharing information and creative products with all of cyberspace. I do worry that my ideas and images might be lifted from such a public place, with me none the wiser. But the way I see it, you’d have to be pretty pathetic to resort to passing off someone else’s work as your own, and, like anyone who is falsifying who they are or what they’ve done, I do wonder who really gets cheated in the end, the folks who believe the deception, or the person who lives their life as a lie. Possibly they think it will lend them some sort of prestige (or get them laid?) to be considered a published poet or creator of works of art. They’ll find out soon enough how far that will get you in the world!  Fortunately nothing that can be stolen from me will generate great amounts of money or fame, so I guess I’m relatively safe!

I’m thinking a lot about process lately, and giving things away, so it seemed fitting to introduce here a new feature I’d like to call Guess the Artist. As you know, when I am not imitating brick walls, I derive much inspiration from painters when I design my scarves. So, for this post I’d like to begin a series of shots of a scarf in progress and see who can be the first to guess who the painter is! I’ll give you a new clue each time I make enough progress to post a new picture, and the first person to guess right will get a special giveaway! I haven’t decided what the freebie will be yet, but one of my mounted photos or note cards is possible, or my poetry book, Shadow of a Child, signed by the author! This past weekend of open markets was a bit slow for sales, so I find myself with plenty of inventory on hand!  

Please send your guesses to my personal email address ( so that you won’t influence other guessers! Today’s clue is: this painter is late 20th/early 21st century and not American. Good luck and have fun! Sorry for the relatively (for me!) short rushed post, but in spite of such poor sales, doing these weekly open markets in the South End, as I will be all through October, does take up a lot of time in terms of preparation, setup and ever-evolving strategies for  displaying my products in such a way that whoever my target audience is out there, they will want to give me money!  Not to mention the actual day of the market, which is a sun-up to sun-down workday from loading up the car at dawn, to carrying on animated conversations with passing strangers for 6 straight hours, to carrying everything back up the stairs to the studio at dusk!  And in the interest of full disclosure, I can tell you that this week I’ll be busy creating a whole new line of crocheted wrist warmers to bring with me next weekend and try out on the public, who, even at something known as more of an art than a craft market, located in the very heart of Boston’s most happening artist neighborhood, sometimes seems more impressed by cute fuzzy hats for babies, pet accessories and cool mousepads than fine art!  Bitter, moi?  

So, dear readers, stay tuned for the ongoing saga of my personal version of the age old struggle between soul-satisfyingly creative works and financially necessary marketable items, and how this one woman finds a compromise that puts food on the table, keeps me from ever having to occupy an office cubicle again, and does not require helping someone make their child resemble a pumpkin. Guess this turned out to be a longer post than I expected!

Here is the poem referred to at the top of my post, in its entirety, and now more apt than ever.

Open House by Theodore Roethke

 My secrets cry aloud.
I have no need for tongue.
My heart keeps open house,
My doors are widely swung.
An epic of the eyes
My love, with no disguise.

My truths are all foreknown,
This anguish self-revealed.
I’m naked to the bone,
With nakedness my shield.
Myself is what I wear:
I keep the spirit spare.

The anger will endure,
The deed will speak the truth
In language strict and pure.
I stop the lying mouth:
Rage warps my clearest cry
To witless agony.


  1. Oh, my dear Gabriella,
    don't be bitter!
    Only a few people can understand about art!!

  2. You`re a noble person sharing with us your "secrets".
    And you can be sure that this gesture will give you back good thing.

    Beautiful post.

    you should be more reserved . Take me as an example , i never open myself on my blog or in my life in general . It makes my life sooooo peaceful .
    Secrets are good .... hahahah!!!
    It is very good to see the pictures of the process ... great work .
    If you have an aitenthic work , soon or later will appear people copying what you do . There is no way to avoid this . Before internet i had this problem alread and maybe always will.

    it is good to know that you and Mr. Sylvester are busy ... It will bring good things .

    people gets wondered more with pratical things than with fine art because it has an easier feedback in their brains , it is easier to recognise and deal with it .
    I think it is natural of all the human beings .
    by the way i wanted to be that cat only for wearing the hat .

    nice poem .

    have a wonderful day Gabriella .


    fuck , my computer is so fucking slow that i spent the last 20 minutes trying to post this .
    i can't believe that Monika and Crissant are posted , i arrived before then !!!

  4. I love Roethke. I also love it when artists share their secrets. I think i would not know how to make felt if it was not the sharing of information and patience offered by fibreartists in blog land.

  5. Dear M, I hope I didn't sound too bitter! I am just temporarily frustrated - if I really let things get to me, I would have given up on life and art a long time ago! Fortunately I have something in me that makes me try even harder when things get difficult! I always find a way, my way, to get to where I need to go!

    Crissant, my dear, I too believe that when you put something honest and generous out into the world, good things will come back to you! I just get a little impatient sometimes and need to be reminded! Thank you for being such a sweet reminder!

  6. Caio! Of course, you should always be first! Blogger is strange - I answered Crissant and Monika BEFORE I published your comment, and somehow I got put AFTER you, so are we even? Thank you for all you say - and I think you would enjoy wearing the hat more than the cat did, so she would be happy to give it to you!

    Jasmine - good to see you here, another Roethke fan, yes! I think we all have to learn from each other, and just as with the old system of apprentices in workshops and the traditional training of artists in schools, much of that involves learning and copying from those better than or different from ourselves. The individual style must develop and emerge, but it needs a solid base to spring from!

  7. I believe in sharing also. After all....I don't think I have an idea that's never been done I put a copyright symbol after my work but I've learned to accept that if they copy I should be flattered.

    Your cat is a doll....btw!!

  8. The cat is Little P, actually Brian's cat who is now my adopted little girl. She has made appearances on his blog as well, and is a good sport when a camera is aimed at her! But she receives so much affection and flattery already from both of her humans, I don't think I'll tell her that a great painter of beautiful ladies thinks she's a doll! She'll be requesting a painted portrait next! Thanks as always for stopping by, M.

  9. hahah!! no was my slow internet conexion fault .
    all the time i tried to post it took an eternety to move .

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  11. Many thanks, Denise! I don't usually post cute cat photos, and I definitely don't like to see myself in pictures or on VIDEO, but this time I think both the kitty and I came out looking very good! Have a great week...

  12. So sorry Denise - I accidentally deleted your post while trying to publish it!!! No offense intended, my dear! Fortunately your message was still in my email, here is what you originally said...

    I thank you for sharing all these opinions!
    ... lovely scarf, the cat photo
    and beautiful poetry ...

    ... And loved it know you in the interview of the arts fair!
    hugs! :))

  13. Guess The Artist...what a great idea for a feature. This one will get me thinking...wheels churning already! I completely understand your cynicism...we go through it all the time. We think of it as a rollercoaster...up and down, up and down...but what are the choices? You are an extremely creative person and that's your that it's also a career, there's the double challenge. But, I guess that's what gets us all up in the morning! Stay true and people will find have lots of support!

  14. Many thanks, Patti, for mentioning the new feature and resisting commenting on the kitty! Everything you say rings true, as usual. I know I'm not alone in these phases of cynicism. Deep down I also know I am finally living the life I want and need to live and I wouldn't have it any other way, regardless of the hard work and occasional crisis of faith! Now, back to work for us both!

  15. Hi dear Gabriella,
    yes, like Patti also wrote, a great feature and my wheels are churning and cracking also. I thought i had a clou, but the period isn't right, so i'm thinking about it, can you hear it? ;-)

    I love this post a lot (in fact i love all your posts) so i hope you don't mind that i shared it on my FB.
    About the sharing. I feel the same way as you do. And like Manon, if someone uses my images or words i try to see it as compliment. But therefore i always place a watermark on my images, so it's clear who created it.
    Once i was very naive, letting a businessman be a spokesman for me as i created a logo and a housestyle for 3 companies. It turned out to be that he pretended he was the designer, so i never got anything. But i learned from that.

    I understand your struggles all to well: between soul-satisfyingly creative works and financially necessary marketable items.
    I'm working something out to do both. I'm starting a new etsy and website also for marketable items, using another name.

    I love the poem very much, thank you for that because i didn't know Roethke. I'm happy for leading the way to his work.

    I hope everything is going alright today on the market, and that there are more art and poem loving visitors.
    And sorry, but i can't resist. ;-) Little P. is adorable! And i'm so very sure that this hat looks great on the head of the dancing like a madman dear Caio.

    It was very nice to meet you on the video. A huge smile upon my face when i saw the both of you.
    Sweet greetz, hugs and xoxo my lovely friend.

  16. Monica - I like your idea of having different sites/names for different types of products. They will all come from your soul, but it would be naive to think that everything can be one-size-fits-all for the buyer. Different people will want different things and I do think we can be smart business women and target the right market without compromising our values as artists. It's not easy though! I think the old mystique of the nobly starving artist is still strong, and many artists don't want to be "corrupted" by thinking in terms of business matters, but I'm too old to live on noble ideas - I actually need to pay my bills!

    I'm glad you like Roethke - he is a favorite of mine! And yes, the hat would look great on Dancing Caio! Hmm....perhaps Mr. Fern will be receiving a gift in the mail soon?

    Hugs and kisses to you too, dear M.

  17. This post is another gem my dear gabriella. And what you create is brilliant. This post bounces. From the sharing of the creative process to the stinginess of some, to the guessing the artist, and from the drudgery of weekly market work to survive and the contrast in real art work. And then the sharing of that incredible poem. I love the honesty in what you write it all rings so true.


  18. You're back! I am so happy to know you understand and enjoy my posts, T. Just like any creative process, they begin with an idea and then take me on a journey I have only partial control over - and that's a good thing. I can't be anything but honest - I'm not here to impress anyone, after all, but to share some of what I truly feel and know, and see what reaction that stirs, and learn something in the process! Ah, that it first in college and it still gives me shivers!