Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"David and Goliath"

(snipet of "David and Goliath" for Tomato Art Fest 2010)

Standing in front of a blank canvas can feel a bit like the battle of "David and Goliath" especially when your mission is to represent your fabulous East Nashville community. When your community is a giant of creativity and inspiration the feeling of personal smallness is even more magnified. Thankfully none of us are alone here on the East side of the river, we are only an email or facebook post away from each other.

In the beginning it was just me, the Lockeland yearbook, and a massive 3'X4' blank canvas. Thankfully, after a few emails and posts to the list serve the community spoke to me about everything from the theme of the piece (the flood) ,to the characters and the research behind why the characters where significant to the story we were creating. Thus East Nashville and I set about to create the tale of Superheroes vs. Villains, and we transformed a simple comic book idea into an epic story like "David and Goliath."

During the flood many people rose up to help face the giant forces that threatened to destroy us. But that brown, yellow, murky monster just kept coming. Neighbors gathered and threw sandbags at it, amassed sump pumps to combat it, and it still kept coming. Each small person on their own two feet held hands with the community around them and gained the power of many to do great works. To name each person would take forever but to look at my Tomato Art piece you will see the faces of 307 children that represent the small forces that were gathering all over Nashville to create armies of helpfulness. The children symbolize our smallness and remind us that by sticking together we can accomplish great things. The children are our "David" facing the "Goliath Flood" while fearlessly and happily smiling all the while. The flood called for more than one Goliath so King Kong, Godzilla, and an Army of Aliens dominate along with the rising flood waters that are engulfing our Fair City.

Enter, stage left, the tomato. What better symbol could there be for the uniting of hands that drowned the flood? The little "Davids" in the piece are hurtling them at the "Goliaths" with great success. A small Army of children being led by our own East Nashville crew of Alan Murdock and Catherine McTamaney are pulling out the General Jackson (which represents East Nashville) from the mouth of the flood. Meg MacFadyen is not forgotten here because Meg IS our great tomato and is represented all over the canvas.

Just as hands reached over hands to help in the flood relief you reached out to me through your facebook and email posts. The East Nashville community generously poured out suggestions, and research to support them, for such questions as: "Who should King Kong and Godzilla be holding?" It is from these responses that you see Alan, Catherine, Meg, Dolly, Vince Gill, and Taylor Swift. Even the flood itself was requested as the setting for my piece by several list serve regulars. Thank you for your support!

Tomato Art Fest itself is a David and Goliath story. The brain child of Meg and Bret to share creativity and their uniting peaceful ideals with our great city. There are and always have been many challenges to pulling the Tomato Art Fest off each year after year but Meg and Bret always do it. They are our heroes of the tomato season and all that comes with it. Happy Summer friends and see you on August 14th at Art and Invention Gallery!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What Male Singer Symbolizes Nashville?

My tomato collage is all about the community and your input towards the theme: "Heroes vs Villains of the Nashville Flood." So many genuis suggestions where shared for who King Kong should be holding that it took some time and neighborly discussions before I settled on an idea. King Kong will be squeezing a tomato with Dolly Parton leaping off in one hand and the other hand he will be smashing a guitar with other guitars flying out of the mayhem.

Now, I want to know your thoughts about the prize spot in Godzilla's fist. Who ever fills this spot should be a male singer who symbolizes Nashville. I love Willie Nelson for his world wide community activism but maybe there is someone better. What male country music singer symbolizes Nashville? I've got Johnny Cash's guitar in Godzilla's other fist, but I think the art needs someone living. What do you think? Please join the conversation by posting here or email me:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Who should King Kong be squeezing???

Help! Identify just exactly WHO should King Kong be squeezing. This is for my tomato art collage and the setting is Nashville, TN during the flood. Post comments here or email:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Art of Healing

Jason Boylan knows about the art of healing and puts it into practice at his clinic every day at "3rd and Church Health Care." Jason who is a licensed nurse practitioner, along with his partners opened this innovative walk in clinic that also features an in house chiropractor and a house call service.

The first thing you notice when entering "3rd and Church Health Care" is Jason's warm and compassionate face. He has a way of putting you at ease and everything about him sets the tone for the healing that is soon to come. The next thing you notice is the environment that Jason and his partners have created, it is artful, warm and relaxing. The clinic works with local artist to adorn the walls of his clinic with art because they understand the healing nature of art.

I met Jason through my nurse practicioner friend, Mimi Gerber, who also partners with Jason and who has been to my home many times to provide me and my family with medical healing. Mimi has such a gentle and healing presence that getting a steriod shot from her (for the treatment of my posion ivy rash) was like being at a spa.

It was a pleasure for me to install several of my large scale collages at "3rd and Church Health Care" this week. The pieces fit their environment because they provoke the imagination to wander through them telling a story. That's great a way to distract yourself while waiting to see the Dr. You can travel through my art, open magical doors, explore characters and wonder about any number of questions that you come up with. The colors in my work are soothing and the images that I create come from my subconscious and convey restful and beautiful feelings. They are available for closer viewing at "3rd and Church Health Care" and on this site. You may also purchase them at in the "more" section.

Stop in to "3rd and Church Heath Care" and receive artful healing.

3rd and Church Healthcare
301 Church Street
Corner of 3rd Ave North & Church St
Nashville, TN 37201
(615) 255-7902

Monday, July 19, 2010

Calling all Heroes or Villains - Send in Your Photos!!!

Thank you all for your input into the story ideas for my Tomato Art piece for this year! The ideas were wonderful and I'm using them to create the story of "Heroes vs Villains of the Nashville Flood." The background for my piece is almost complete and now I'm searching for Google images for the collage elements to tell the story. If you find yourself with some time to play online and want to send me images that you think would help tell that story, just send them to me in an email! (I can't promise to use them all - but it will be fun to see the variety)

Images I'm looking for:
Alien Space Ship Aliens
Country Music Stars (good and bad)
Jet Skis
News Channel Five Helicopter
Speed Boats
Super Heroes
Water Guns
Star Wars Space Craft

Email Images to Camilla:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Vote for your favorite style of illustration

I just created a poll to find out what type of illustrations you look for when choosing a children's book. Click the link below to register your response and join the conversations with comments to either this posting or on facebook. I would really love to know what type of illustrations you are most drawn to and why! Click here to vote!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Villain on My Studio Floor!

ALL summer I've been man-handled by a terrible Villain, "Painter's Block."
He wears a plastic cape with a price tag and a logo created by the company who made him. Yesterday, I tore his plastic wrapping off his brand new bright white canvas body. That sinister canvas with its crinkled wrapper in a heap on the studio floor mocked me. Maybe he felt vulnerable without his shiny, protective cape and decided to put me in my place.

He slapped me with his bright whiteness, "Who are you?" he seethed through his teeth stained with gesso. Without even giving me time to defend myself he bombarded me with some of the most evil put downs I've ever heard. (I'll spare you, Dear Reader, I'm sure you have your own list in mind)

I cried. I called my husband, who is my "Phone a Friend" in situations like these.

My husband, true to his Superhero form told me it was OK. He wisely suggested that I think about Pollock who stared a blank canvas for days before finally standing up and facing the challenge. He advised me to to just get a pencil and start drawing. I cried to him, "I don't know how to draw! I don't know how to paint! I have lost every part of myself and it is not coming back!" I actually heard the commercial in my head saying, "Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!"

Another Superhero in my life stopped by and gave me a hug and said the kindest words that melted my heart. Old friends can do that, you know? That sweet friend who is the bravest, boldest, most creative person I know gave me the strength to pick up the pencil and draw the lines. The lines (by magic) turned into a background, the background turned into my favorite thing - layers of paint and finally I was back off the ground and flying again.

The right side of my brain is awake now and it is talking to me instead of the canvas. It tells me about layers of paint, texture, positive and negative spaces. Except it thankfully does not use those words. It speaks in a language that I do not know how to tell you about. All is well now and that the EVIL canvas wrapper is where it belongs - in the recycling bin to later live a new life with better karma.

So watch out for those plastic cups, plates and forks.
It may not just be the carcinogens that are messing with your brain. It just might be that same "Ugly Talking Recycled Plastic Villain" from my studio floor. If you find your self with a back talking plastic object in your hand (it could even be a shampoo bottle, or a cheap ink pen) remember where to find me. I will hand you a wooden pencil and tie a cape around your neck to send you to your happy place. "To Infinity and Beyond!"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Tomato Art NEEDS YOU!

My 2010 Tomato Art NEEDS YOU! Last year my tomato art piece was all about the East Nashville community through a collection of several hundred photos and collage. This year it will tell a whimsical story of super heroes and super villains through characters we visualize and create together.

The setting of the story is right here on the East Bank of the Cumberland River with the Nashville City Skyline featured in the background. I have clipped out the faces of the students from Lockleand Design Center Yearbook to use in the piece somehow too. All my materials have been gathered and I'm ready to begin!

Your ideas for SUPER VILLAINS and SUPER HEROES is needed. It is like picking baby names, so throw your favorite into the hat and watch the story unfold!

You can follow the progress here:

More about last year's piece here: 'Mother Earth's Tomato Art Fest 2009" - 1st Place "Most Inventive"