25 April 2013

Artist Reception Friday, April 26 5:00-8:00

The Salem Arts Association in collaboration with
the House of Seven Gables
Artwork created during this week will be available for viewing and sale during the reception and one day exhibition.

Artists' Reception

Friday, April 26 from 5:00 - 8:00 pm

The reception is free and open to the public.

Come down and see!!!!!!

Artist Reception at House of Seven Gables
House of Seven Gables: 115 Derby Street. Salem, MA 01970


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20 April 2013

Artists at the 7 Gables in Salem

I want to let everyone know who is in the area, and those that are able to come up here to the Salem, MA area!!!

There is lots of news happening with the Salem Arts Association. As the recently elected Vice President, I want to be sure folks know and we can get lots of participation.

Right now... a collaborative effort with the House of Seven Gables in Salem, MA. When was the last time you were there? When was the last time you got to see artists at work outside of their studios? When was the last time... hmm...

An en plein air event presented by the Salem Arts Association, in collaboration with the House of the Seven Gables.

Outdoor art creation will take place in a variety of media.

April 18th-25th, 9 AM - 5PM


Artwork created during this week will be available for viewing and sale during the reception/one day exhibition. 

The reception is free and open to the public.

Friday, April 26, 5-8pm

I will be there with bells on!!! Hope to see some of you there!!!

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10 April 2013

Natural and Identity

Something I have struggled with my entire life: identity. Is it irony that is the premise of the majority of my portraiture photography?

The identity piece? I grew up in a middle class primarily (ok.. all) Caucasian neighborhood. I went to prep middle school/  boarding high school. All of this in the 70s on. So.. people either ignored me, or they were touching my hair, (causing me to CONSTANTLY say... Do NOT Touch My Hair!) asking if my skin burned in the sun (ummm I'm sorry, am I human?), if privates look exaggerated,  was I am built like I am unlike the kids from the "Blue Book".

I take NOTHING away from my parents and the VERY VERY hard work they did for me to be able to have the education and to be able to dress like my counterparts etc etc. When I got to college, I was ahead in so many ways (once I was serious about college again). Once I got out into the world, I ran into terms like "straight shooter", "angry", "intimidating", "you are SO articulate" etc in my work world. Where some of these words can be construed as positive, in a work environment as a manager and director in a Caucasian male dominated field... it is not MEANT in that way. It is the carefully termed way to say... "You are a little too honest, and my golly you don't speak "Black". While, the other comments were "It is like you are white".

...Sigh...

Just so it is VERY VERY clear, that is NEVER a compliment to a Black person, or in fact any person of ANY skin color OTHER than white. It is basically saying, the race you are.. is not that smart but you sound almost smart enough to be as good as a white person. Be it a person of one's own race or another... NOT GOOD! There, I said it... It is out there... And I do not apologize for it.

OK, so let me get back to growing my hair back, choosing it to be "natural" and identity. So, in a sense it is me making a stand, and being VERY proud of who I am. I am NOT a "small boned", European looking, quiet woman with naturally straight hair.

After my car accident a few years ago, I started shaving my head to allow for the glass that was constantly coming out. Since in the last year I have maybe pulled out 1 or 2 pieces, I decided to begin to grow my hair out. Last year I became frustrated in the summer so, shaved it all down again. Since then, I have been growing it back out.

It has taken absolutely forever! It is about 4" long (root to tip). But consider my having very thick and kinky hair (tight tight curls), so that is REALLY about 1". Needless to say, it can be a bit discouraging. The longer I leave it growing naturally, the more seems to end up in the shower and all over the house. Lots and lots of little curly hairs... You know what I mean..

Anyway, someone gave me 2 things, conditioner derived of multiple oils to be left in for an hour covered, for once a week and another which is a leave in daily conditioner. Sunday, Dave and I went to Whole foods and purchased about $100 worth of natural oils. (OUCH!) We went home and I started mixing like the witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth. Once completed I tried out the hour long treatment. It seems to have left my hair pretty moisturized. Yesterday, I made the leave in moisturizer and needed to mix.. and mix... and mix... and my hand got sore.. so I tried stirring..

Elisabeth Neville © 2013
Of course.. THIS time I cackled a bit... and sang
Witch 1. Toad, that under cold stone,
Days and nights has thirty-one;
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot!
ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
William Shakespeare - Macbeth

We will see what happens.... :)

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Chou Chou and 22 toes

It has been roughly 16 years since Chou Chou (pronounced shoo - shoo) entered my life. And to this day he is my love, and my sweet sweet protective baby.

We were introduced on my 30th birthday as a means to get me out of a deep depression. I have had a rough time with birthdays since my 16th when I had a horrible occurrence happen at my boarding school which forever changed me. (maybe more on that at another time. I have been working on a project for a couple of years now.) I was laying in bed in my apartment and my father came to visit me and brought me to the North Shore Animal Shelter to pick out a cat. He and my mother felt that I needed some company to get me out of myself.

After a great deal of convincing, we went to the store, bought the necessary items, and some food, and off we went to the shelter. Once we arrived, we walked by so so many cats. I think I wanted to take them all home until.....

Elisabeth Neville © 2013 - Chou Chou's 22 toes
This one cage.. actually quite large, with one little black cat curled into a ball and hiding in the back. He looked up with those bright green eyes and I fell in love. They opened the cage and said..
He was the 8 week old runt of the litter at the shelter, not picked, with 22 toes, all black, ear mites and fleas. I immediately fell in love with him and he started purring, not much larger than my hand. Dad had to convince the people to let me take him. We bought a little comb to get rid of the fleas, and the drops to get rid of the mites and brought him to the vet. He passed with flying colors!

Elisabeth Neville © 2013 - Chou Chou's beautiful green eyes

Home he came... and disappeared under my bookcase.. We did not meet again until that evening when he came out to eat.. and curl up in my lap. 

Fast forward to when I was 31. Chou Chou began sleeping wrapped around the top of my head. During this time, I had horrible headaches. Horrible. I had no idea what the issue was but something was wrong. After months of wondering why Chou was sticking so close and attaching himself to my head at night.... I FINALLY had the major stroke which had been brewing for a year or so. He knew, he protected, and he loved. 

To this day, he is still here with me. He and his "sibling" Milo bicker and play, and sometimes groom each other when they think no one is looking. He was accepting of Dave when he came to the house and has begun to play and talk again after mourning the loss of Bella Luna the sweet girl with the white heart on her belly. We lost her soon after Dad. 

I have sitting avoiding working, and Chou climbed up on my laptop and plopped himself down (as he often does). I noticed those cute little toes and his beautiful stature and thought... wow, I am lucky!

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08 April 2013

Walking around

Sometimes I forget about the little things. I tend to look at people and notice the intricacies of their skin and face. Notice the color of their eyes, how they react when they smile or frown.
People watching is my thing!

But... sometimes I just walk around and notice my neighborhood. The little things. The birds, the rocks, the decay, and the newness when the "snowbirds" return from their winter homes. Yesterday and today, I just captured little things and looked at the colors... browns, greens, yellows. The coming of spring, the leftovers from winter.
Thought I might share some.





And what a beautiful day it is!

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