Saturday, January 24, 2009

Grandma Again!

Last Saturday I gained a new man in my life -- my newest grandchild, Chonza Jr., aged five months and freshly arrived from the west coast of Canada.

Although Christmas is now a memory, meeting Chonza Jr. brings to mind a Christmas poem I wrote several years ago:

Prism-Split

My Christmas colors are
ivory
golden-brown
hectic pink
eggplant-black.

In my New Jersey living room
'round an angel-topped spruce
gathers
God's palette.

Our ancestors
celebrated Christmas in
England
Germany
Italy
Mexico
South Korea
the Philippines
Zambia.

Across artificial borders
we've reached
to adopt
to marry
making family.

God pours through us
His light
prism-split.

(copyright 2008 Cecilia Swatton with all rights reserved.)

Notice in this photo I wear beaded bracelets. These are made by Ugandan women whose dire financial circumstances place our own economic troubles into sharp perspective. Please take a moment to visit the Bead for Life website highlighted here on my blog. For gift-giving occasions, Bead for Life has something you can give with a warm heart, knowing it's a double gift, a personal adornment as well as a way of helping others. Or if you are an artist working in mixed media, beading arts, fiber arts or altered arts, you will be delighted with Bead for Life's packages of loose beads. These beads are lightweight -- being handmade one at a time from recycled magazine pages -- and come in all shades and colors.

In addition to Chonza Jr., God recently bestowed another blessing upon these sixty-year-old (slightly achy) shoulders. Jurors accepted my artwork into three categories at the 2009 Monmouth Festival of the Arts, an annual gallery-event happening in late March. The festival, held at Reform Temple in Tinton Falls, NJ, draws work from fine-arts artists across the tri-state area of NJ, NY and PA. My categories of acceptance are fine arts (for my mixed-media abstracts done on gallery-wrap canvas), fine crafts (for my Victorian-themed altered trays and cigar boxes) and photography (for my digital art.) At this point in time not every vendor offers separate categories for the two distinct, widely different artforms of fine-art photography and digital art; however, I remain hopeful that the tide of change will someday reach everywhere. I'm delighted at this acceptance into the Monmouth Festival of the Arts, in part because every year without fail, the Temple's MFA volunteers are polite, helpful and seemingly tireless in bringing about this huge event. And this show is well-organized. Any artist who's participated in a number of shows knows what a gigantic blessing this is!

I will be doing my best to grow a second set of hands in order to create my quota of artwork for this show, so I will not be a daily blogger. However, I hope everyone will take a moment to visit the Monmouth Festival of Arts website highlighted on this blog.

God's blessings upon you all!

Cecilia

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