Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Creativity and Shamanism classes for the summer of 2009 have begun - 


Creativity and Shamanism 

2009 SERIES I 

For thousands of years shamans have used art to bring about healing and manifest their visions in the world. What we might call abundance or sufficiency is the model for the universe as they know it, one in which love, gratitude and joy prevail, human life is in respectful balance with the natural world, there is always enough in Source, and every life form – including rivers, mountains and stars - is honored. 

In these classes we follow shamanic customs to make ourselves available to new levels of creative awareness, vision, power and possibility.  Using the tools of visual art and elements of our natural surroundings we explore our unlimited capability to imagine and co-create new physical realities for our personal lives and for Earth.  Our creations become places to observe spirit intervention and guidance as well as permanent locales of healing in the land and in our hearts. 

Combining visioning, healing and creation of reality through drawing, painting and collage mediums, in this workshop series students also receive basic attunements and begin to assemble personal mesas in the Peruvian shamanic tradition.  

One student's creating of his emerging from sadness and taking wing.

The envisioning and creation of physical healing of the spine.

Here a state of isolation is transcended by the creation of many forms of connection to the world and universe - a vision that began to manifest into this student's consensual reality (the reality we humans have agreed is available to us through the experience of our senses) within a few days of this depiction.

Recognizing that our work is to connect deeply with the land, to heal ourselves and then to take responsibility for the greater community of all beings and the emergence of a new consciousness, a first step is to acknowledge our power in creating change.
Taking responsibility for our role in creating can be a revelation in itself for those raised in a Western consciousness that often rewards conformity, obedience and suppressing our voice and unique powers.  

In the shamanic tradition access to spirit, alternative seeing states and creative joy is reawakened.  

The power to envision, depict and bring into being elements of physical reality is universal, yet Western culture has allowed us to forget this gift and responsibility for bringing about healing and balance in the world.  

A depiction of the quadrants of a student's life showed desired future states of being, accomplishments, relationships and events.  These began to be noticed in her physical reality in the months following their detailed envisioning in the large painting/collage in progress, above.

Grounding in the land by connecting to the voices of nature and spirit is essential to this work.
Here natural elements are assembled symbolically to acknowledge, celebrate and create into physical reality.  These outdoor mandalas, or sand paintings, are places for interaction with and intervention by spirit.

Despachos, or gifts of prayer and gratitude to spirit are created to maintain balance and observe reciprocity, or ayni, by giving in proportion to that which is received.  In this case prayers and intentions are offered for the birth of a baby.  
 Here prayers for a safe journey are offered in a despacho.

An outdoor mandala commemorates the physical death and facilitates the transition of a married couple.
A ceremony to create and maintain energetic ties, or ceke lines, between two lovers separated by geographic distance.

A mandala to acknowledge the death and great continuing spiritual presence of a beloved teacher.

In places of spiritual power desired outcomes are often brought into being with great speed, clarity and force. 

Here the setting is the Peruvian sacred mountain, or Apu, Wakaywilka. 

PLEIN AIR EXHIBITION: Historic Gardens of Salem, July 11 & 12, 2009

It was fun last weekend to be part of the tour of private gardens in Salem's McIntire Historic District.  The weather was (finally) lovely, and members of the local Garden Club served as guides and hostesses to the event.  (At left one Garden Club member posed with my card at the entrance to an historic garden.)

Visual artists and musicians were invited to add to the festivity of the weekend by stationing themselves decoratively within the gardens.  This was wonderful for me because it meant painting for the first four hours to magical flute music.

Painting "en plein air" of course means outside, but sounds a lot better in French.  So when you paint outside, don't worry about bugs, sun, wind, peeing in the woods, and other annoyances.  There's a certain reverse cache in pretending you do not have a studio, and work only spontaneously and with great speed and joy as gods and muses lead you.   Actually, making art can always be like this, if only we remember...

On Saturday I was in the garden at 37 Chestnut Street, sometimes called the most beautiful street in America.  It is a treasure of Federal Period architecture, particularly that of Samuel McIntire, who I'm honored to say is an ancestor, though I show no architectural promise at all.

I found a shady spot at the end of the garden with an Italianate urn of geraniums and settled in for a few hours.  Sadly, my speed in painting also pales in comparison to that of grandmother Anita, many of whose watercolors bear notes about the scene painted and the circumstances, along with her signature and, often, "15-min. sketch."  Her 15-min. sketches are just as realized as my 2 or 3 hour ones!  Think the lesson of the day may be not to compare oneself to ancestors...
Looking back toward the main house at 37 Chestnut.
A three-hundred-year-old apple tree next door... 
Sunday afternoon I moved to number 3 Hamilton Street to paint in the gardens of a Colonial Revival house, built apparently in 1927, although one would never guess it wasn't 200 years old.  The exquisite gardens around this house are largely perennial, with details like seashell paths and walls covered in clematis.  
I tried again to find a shady spot, and settled on a sweet, ivy-lined brick pathway toward the back of the house.  The sun came and went under gigantic clouds but I was able to catch some of the shadows of ferns on the brick.  
The finished painting sold - a gratifying end to my summer garden tour experience.

Monday, April 6, 2009

MARCH SALON: An Artists' Round Table

Recently I was invited by Ditto Editions of Salem to take part in a panel discussion about marketing as part of Ditto's continuing Salon Nights series, held at the Salem State College Enterprise Center.  

The Salons are a great service to the arts community, covering all topics of the business of art marketing, from networking etiquette to web and blog design.  

Above:  Shells by Carol Dearborn, pastel on paper

Organizer and speaker Susan Fader, co-owner, with husband Nick, of Ditto, offers the unique perspective of a rich background in many branches of the arts, from her schooling and experience in studio art (her new work is with vintage and antique turned wood and other found objects) to heading advertising and marketing firms.  

For this Salon I was asked to talk about the evolution of my career from portraiture and other privately commissioned works to exploring a more public vision of ecological themes, marketed in part to corporations.

Other panel speakers included Karen Harvey Cox,  Joan Colt Hooper and Joan van Roden White, artists who have chosen completely different avenues of marketing, from privately held receptions to web marketing.  

In addition to local coverage by Ditto, the Boston Globe gave us the following write-up:  

ARTISTS NETWORK: Like most people, artists are struggling in the tough economy. Ditto Editions, at the Enterprise Center at Salem State College, wants to help.

It hosts Salon Nights the third Wednesday of each month to guide artists in becoming successful business people.

Marketing is the subject explored Wednesday. During a round-table discussion, artists who have identified markets for selling their art share their approach and experiences.

Panel members include Carol Dearborn and Karen Harvey Cox. Dearborn discusses use of networking and other forms of promotion for seeking and developing corporate accounts and public venues for her art. Cox talks about expanding awareness of her art through etsy.com

Textile Collage Workshop

Inquiries about the techniques I created for many of the textile paintings in my WILD MYSTERIES show of 2007 led to offering a one-day workshop on February 12, 2008 at Marblehead Arts Association, Marblehead, MA.  

I had never tried teaching these methods before, but was confident students of all levels would be able to bring at least one work to completion during the 10 am - 4 pm workshop.  

Large tables had been set up throughout the Marblehead Arts ballroom space.

Instructed to bring scraps of recycled threads, yarns and fabric of all kinds, people showed up with huge bags of amazing materials.  Everyone shared what they had, so if you needed a striped silk or a black cut velvet, you were sure to find it somewhere in the room.  

One participant's fabric source was apparently the cutting room of a local couturier - great idea.  The thrift shop is another good place.

Step one:  choose a large piece of linen or loosely-woven, light-colored material to serve as your canvas and lay out the basics of the composition.  

Affixing with pins, add smaller compositional elements, playing with the effects of various prints and textures.

Bunched-up yarns and other stringy things translate beautifully into natural elements, even from a short distance.

Nettings and gauzes add shading and hold down threads and small pieces, so they won't have to be individually stitched in place.   
The final piece will be tacked lightly with stitching - either from the back or front (if you like the added texture) and then stretched over a board for framing.  

Though I've experimented with layers of matte finish Krylon spray to seal textiles - and it's held up pretty well over decades - to be really safe from dust and humidity I prefer framing textile paintings under glass with a channeled molding that prevents the piece from touching the glass.  Framing under glass will also flatten out some of the three-dimensionality or "impasto" of the piece, allowing it to read more clearly.  

Sunday, April 5, 2009


The Green Show is a collaborative exhibition between the Marblehead and Salem Arts Associations. The theme presents an opportunity for artists to express different aspects of nature and the environment:
  • NATURE AT ITS BEST conveyed in landscapes and seascapes, pristine vistas of nature
  • that which is DETRIMENTAL to nature and the environment
Gary LaParl, President of Salem Arts Association, with Leslie Fahn Rosenberg's collage, "Going Out."  
Architect William Grover, LEED, commented on the Carol Dearborn textile painting, "Tree and Its Reflection."

Wendy Snow-Lang with her photograph and painting, "Miss Fifi French" and "Mr. A. F. Ganhound."

Ellen Hardy with "The Secret of Trees."  As part of the Peabody Essex Museum's Polar Project, Hardy wrote of her work:  
“While we stayed fixed on the earth and we look to the sky it reminds us how fast we are actually moving and how quickly a moment passes. The sky is nature’s best film and through my painting I try to capture its beauty.” 

Charles Lang with his acrylic paintings, "Duelling Bah-Nah-Nahs" and "Boogie Woogie Bah-Nah-Nahs."

Photographer Joseph Puleo fell in love with Holly Aloha Jaynes' "Wild Woman of the Beach."
Marblehead Arts Association Director Deborah Greel Wathne helped artist Michel Fandel Bonner with a last-minute installation of "Insulators."  
Judy Trujillo's "Some Heads."
A second Carol Dearborn textile painting, "Reflection in a Brook," hung beside Jack Walsh's bottle, "The Tree." 
Various environmental groups, including the Marblehead Conservancy, displayed information.  Hamilton, MA landscape painter Katrina Hart represented The Trustees of Reservations, the Massachusetts organization whose mission it is to preserve, "for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts."

Elaine Caliri Daly's "Our Endless Sea."

Following  is the Taunton / Salem Gazette's April 1o, 2009 coverage of the show, written by Charlene Peters and titled "Scrap happy":

Marblehead —

“Fascinating,” says Marblehead artist D.L. Kaulbach, referring to her brainchild, “The Green Show,” as its 127 submissions are hung on the walls in the King Hooper Mansion.

Utilizing items made from organic fabrics, recycled textiles, handmade paper products and “found” items, “The Green Show: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” exhibit is creating an eco-buzz from Marblehead to Salem.

After last year’s successful collaboration with the Salem Arts Association in the exhibit “Art by Association,” the two towns are once again joining forces in “The Green Show,” currently on display in the Marblehead Arts Association, 8 Hooper St. in Marblehead, through April 26. The reason the collaborative show is at the MAA is because it has more space to accommodate the large number of pieces in the exhibit, unlike the SAA, whose space at Artist’s Row won’t even open until May 22, and even then will be small — for now.

Says SAA Director Gary LaParl, “Our dream is to have our own space in the near future. When we get our own space, we hope to invite MAA artist-members.

MAA Director Deborah Greel says she is more than happy to team up with the SAA to attract interest from “organizations that advocate for the environment in this very timely exhibit.”

This is the fourth collaboration between the two arts associations, following “Artists Healed” and “Dancing with the Arts.”

“After last year’s success, we knew we wanted to do another one,” LaParl says.

When Kaulbach, an artist member of both organizations, took her new idea to Greel, she was given the “green light” to request artist submissions.

“We’d been talking about ‘green’ since last summer,” says LaParl. “Since Earth Day is in April, we wanted to tie it in with that.”

Salem and Marblehead Arts members’ works now decorate the King Hooper Mansion, creating quite an eco-conscious offering.

Each room in the Mansion has a unique theme, such as “Nature at its Best” on the first floor in the Parlor Gallery. This is where you’ll find landscapes and seascapes by artists Rita Hamill of Manchester and Kaulbach. Head to the back kitchen area and you’ll enter a room filled with artwork “Detrimental to the Environment.” Pieces such as John Wathne’s “High Tide” oil painting of the Prudential building half underwater will shock you, as will the polar bear with CO2 in the atmosphere and plastic in a pond, titled “Don’t Foul With the Fowl” — all self-explanatory pieces.

Upstairs in the ballroom, certain pieces stand out, such as Holly Aloha Jaynes’ “Wild Woman of the Beach,” which she created with “found” trash. The life-size “Frankenstein-like” creation was made from various materials Jaynes had accumulated by scouring trash left on Marblehead beaches. Jaynes has been working in object art for many years, with a long-standing attraction to rust.

“Rusty items, rusty nails… I work on paintings with rust,” she says of the material for which she began to look on the beach and use in response to the tragedy of 9-11. “Kali Ma,” she says, “is the goddess of destruction and recreation. She’s a fierce goddess with a garment belt of skulls, which symbolize destruction.”

She felt her work helped bring clarity and peace from the fear and chaos in the world.

After painting the powerful contrast of dark goddess on rust, which Jaynes says “looked like a goddess with four arms in a fire – of which men in particular are afraid,” she began to notice other odds and ends left on the beaches in Marblehead.

She began collecting lost pacifiers, shoes, gloves and, most recently, what she believed to be false teeth. But after careful inspection, they turned out to be fake rubber teeth — with little skulls on them.

“I may add these to the ‘Wild Woman,” if it fits,” she says.

“Wild Woman” is a work in process, says Jaynes, and unless sold during “The Green Show,” she will continue to add objects until the womanly form is completely covered.

The idea to create this female form donned with trash began with a yellow rope she found on the beach.

“It inspired the creation of a yellow rope skirt,” she says, adding that many more unique objects hang from “Wild Woman’s” belt, including a medicine pouch.

For aesthetic purposes, Jaynes decided to incorporate the colors of the rainbow on the lady, beginning with red Tootsie Pop wrappers and old Christmas ribbon found from former tree burnings on Riverhead Beach for the upper torso, working her way down with orange and yellow for the rope skirt and one leg in blue, another leg in purple — and green, of course.

The objects she found most often were bottle caps in various colors, which she uses throughout the form, as well as pieces of shovels, pails or any broken object. Oh, and baby pacifiers.

“I find a lot of pacifiers,” she says. “But I’ve only found one set of false teeth with skulls on it.”

One object she has found a lot of -- Butane lighters, from which she made necklaces and bracelets. But she couldn’t use them on “Wild Woman,” lest she create a fire hazard.

When the exhibit was first announced, Jaynes knew “Wild Woman” would be a good fit for “The Green Show.” The large, vibrant piece is shocking, as it leaves a lasting impression of just how much trash is on the beach.

“But,” notes Jaynes, “a lot of the trash probably floats in from the ocean.”

 She considers the found objects to be symbolic of a disposable society.

“A child gets a toy, plays with it a bit, then tosses it,” she explains. “Even teenagers toss bottles, hence the abundance of found bottle caps.”

For LaParl, his eyes were drawn to artwork upstairs on the piano, where cut-up books were reassembled to form a piece of art. And then there’s the Scrabble game on the wall, with environmentally correct terms spelled out.

Through this exhibit, Kaulbach has raised eco-consciousness through found beauty in ordinary objects, painful confrontations and, yes, even natural beauty seemingly unspoiled.

In addition to being an SAA and MAA artist member, Kaulbach is, no doubt, an environmental advocate. In addition to bringing together the artists, she has also reached out to other organizations that are working to help protect and sustain our natural resources. At Sunday’s opening reception, the Marblehead Recycling Committee, the Marblehead Nature Conservancy, the Farmers Market and the Trustees of the Reservations offered information about their programs, and there was a raffle for a composter and recycle bins. Even the National Grand bank joined in as a sponsor for grocery “re-bag” giveaways.

Adding to the beauty of all things “green,” Kaulbach invited three floral designers: Bev Bucknam, Nancy Farrell and Joan Schlueter from the Cottage Gardeners (the organization that cares for the King Hooper Garden) to interpret works of art through floral displays, which decorate the mansion with greens to compliment the exhibit.

Now that spring is upon us and the outside is once again turning green, it’s the perfect time to stop in to check out “The Green Show.”

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Carol Dearborn at Washington Square Studio

My first showing of new work in 2008 opened at Washington Square Studio in Salem, MA on the stormy evening of May 9. 

Visit the Washington Square Artists section for more information and images on the Carol Dearborn exhibit.   

Washington Square Studio is housed in historic Federal Period buildings across from Salem Common, the Hawthorne Hotel and the Salem Witch Museum. Having lived on the Common many years ago, it was fun to revisit the grandeur of this public space around the corner from many of the Peabody Essex Museum's historic buildings, the Salem Armory (now Visitor Center) and the Peabody Essex Museum itself.

After a quiet winter of work, this was the first showing of new pastels as well as a series of large prints of my textile paintings from the Adirondacks Series.  Shown here are the new prints for the diptych Sunset on Silver Lake.

Despite truly awful weather we did have quite a few visitors, thanks to fine publicity organized by Washington Square Director Lisa Palance. Art Business News gave us the following write-up: 

Salem, MA

The Washington Square Studio recently hosted a reception for local artist Carol Dearborn.  In addition to her work with natural themes, she is also a portraitist in oil and pastel, working on commission and offering classes in portraiture as well as master workshops in collage and creative expression. Pictured from left are studio director Lisa Palance, Carol Dearborn and Nick and Susan Fader of Ditto Editions.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Evolutions '08

The end of August found many preparing for Dick Buckley's annual Evolutions Labor Day Weekend exhibit, held outdoors in a private garden on Marblehead Neck.  The Boston Globe called the event "A 12 hour exhibit featuring the work of a dozen highly talented contemporary and traditional artists, plus live music and a screening of two short films."  

Balloons to put up on street corners, musicians, pizza and coffee, and plenty of bricks to hold your tent down in case of sudden gusts of wind.
This year the weather was perfect.  People came on foot or by bicycle and car from miles around to visit, art was appreciated and sold, friends made.  Above is my tent, with invitations for my upcoming October, 2008 show, The Spirit of Place at Marblehead Arts.

Jesa Damora with her magnificent large paintings  - "Ostensibly about flowers but actually about sex."

Gina, Alan and the boys visited and promised to buy a print on bamboo paper of Mountainside with Birches.

Thanks to Buck we also got great local press.  The following article by Larry Claflin appeared in the August 28th issue of The Salem News:

Art on the lawn:  'EVOLUTIONS' has grown into a 'wonderful gift to the community'

For those who have never experienced a lawn party on the exclusive Marblehead Neck, there's an opportunity to do so this weekend at Evolutions '08, two days of art, music and film planned for Saturday and Sunday.

The event, which is in its sixth year, is organized by Dick "Buck" Buckley, who has a studio in a converted garage behind the Ocean Avenue house where Evolutions '08 will take place.

The weekend will feature the work of 12 visual artists, including that of Buckley, displayed over 12 hours on the home's expansive, manicured lawn. The two-day event will include music by several singer-songwriters, and two short films.

The art, which will be shown and sold from tents surrounding the yard, will consist of traditional and contemporary, in many mediums and styles — such as photography, painting, ceramics, sculpture, drawings, mixed media, even stencil on mylar, according to Buckley.

"We offer a variety for people who come in. I don't want all seascapes; I don't want all abstract expressionist," said Buckley, who added that selecting art is as much of a challenge as recruiting artists who work well together.

"The chemistry between the artists is vital to run one of these things, and they really get to test each others' character, especially during downpours," he said.

Buckley's rain date for the event is Monday, but at press time, there was no precipitation in this weekend's forecast.

Buckley is a painter, photographer and sculptor who also works as a corporate marketing consultant and was the creative director at a large ad agency. He said he started Evolutions soon after he began renting from the late Clint Wells, founder of Wells Yachts, and his wife, Georgia, who lived in the main house.

The Wellses loved the idea, Buckley said, as do his current neighbors, who, he said, plan their vacations around the annual Labor Day weekend event, which brought in 1,200 people last year.

"It's fun for the attendees and it's fun for the artists," said Buckley, adding that many will sell their work without commissions, fees or gallery mark-ups.

"So people should expect to pay approximately 50 percent less than they would at a gallery," he said.

Sales aside, Evolutions is an opportunity for artists to network and have a good time, too.

"Its a great combination of having an art opening and having a party in the garden at the same time," said Kasia Mirowska, who runs Miro Art and Design in Marblehead. Mirowska, a native of Poland who currently specializes in decorative art and faux finishes on walls and furniture, is a four-year veteran of the show.

"It's really a nice occasion for everyone," echoed Carol Dearborn of Salem, another Evolutions veteran. "It's a wonderful gift to the community."

Dearborn paints in mixed media and donates 10 percent of proceeds to causes that promote global sustainability. She said she uses only recycled or non-destructive materials, and "works with spirit of reciprocity."

"It's one of the functions of art to be a voice of social conscience," said Dearborn, who added she's a third-generation artist to promote social change.

Buckley shares that altruistic attitude with Evolutions, for which he accepts suggested donations from participating artists and said he never makes money off the event.

"It feels like the right thing to do, especially to help these people out and get them exposure, Buckley said, explaining why he puts on Evolutions each year. "I truly care about this."