Grab This Blog's Widget! < Amarettogirl
visual artist and writer marisol diaz

i am a self-defined Nuyorican creative (that is a Puerto Rican who is from both the isles of Manhattan, NYC and the Caribbean). I share daily in the joy of education and live in a cute port town in New York, in a 'teensy-weensy' apartment with my two dogs and canary named Valentino. Check out my Etsy shop for purchasable pieces. Please do not reproduce imagery off of this site without explicit credit and no derivatives may be made of my original imagery- Thank You.

Creative Commons License
This work by marisol diaz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Add to Technorati Favorites
pingg Invites & eCards
amarettogirl. Get yours at bighugelabs.com/flickr
pingg Invites & eCards
Grab This Blog's Widget! < Amarettogirl
CRAFT: I'm a Crafter!
The Small Is Beautiful Manifesto

Munich Ecstasy, Agony, Bratwurst & Grafitti


The following images are from the Glyptothek in Munich Germany. Though the elderly figure above cannot be easily categorized as either ecstasy or agony...there are few artistic symbols for physical, animalistic ecstasy (or the moment right after) as the Sleeping Satyr below. Whew! Did it just get hot in here or what??


IMG_6390.JPG 1915508-1510252-thumbnail.jpg
Full Sculpture at Dachau Click to see

The above image I chose for agony is of a sculpture at Dachau, a preserved concentration camp in Germany. I wish I knew the artist's name (I will research it and try to find it out!) The faceless people are deeply riveting. I also find a strange resemblance between this image and the creature in the film Pan's Labyrinth (one of my all time favorite movies!)that had it's eyes in its hands and consumed children as opposed to a table feast. A metaphor perhaps of the horror we are all capable of experiencing, if not inflicting.

The creature from Pan's Labyrinth

Gregg and I love this 'self-portrait/s' that we took at Dachau, because it resonates so deeply with our outlook on life. What we do as people - whether removed, foreign or local affects us all and is a reflection of our very being, a reflection of the whole human race. Gregg and I are not Jewish and to there is no need to be inorder to feel the deep pull of pain that being in Dachau reminds us of.


Here are a couple of pics some traditional Bavarian clothing, which is so charming; dirndls, lederhosen, bundhosen, plattlerhosen! However, they are expensive! I heard you can get more affordable sets at second hand stores, but you would need to know where to go. On another side note, if you're thinking about going to try some on and taking a picture of yourself - no camera's allowed (since it seems too many tourists have abused that and don't buy!


And of course you can't go to Germany and not eat some Bratwurst!!! Well, actually you could, but you shouldn't! On a daily basis, Gregg and I tend not to eat meat. We save a lot in the grocery that way. We don't support steroid, antibiotic-infused, slaughterhouses. We do feel that the extreme of fast-food meat consumption in this country is beyond decency. However, we don't call ourselves vegetarians. Thankfully, because if we did we wouldn't have had the internal moral freedom to try these absolutley delicious things! There was a line that extended well beyond us for some.


Finally, on the walk to our hotel we passed a bridge and under that bridge there was a walkway filled with stunning grafitti!!! Check out these beautiful pieces and let me know what you think!!!





Funny, I wasn't the only one cold in Germany, looks like the inanimate objects shared my plight!


For the Love of Mermaids

This weeks Sunday Scribblings prompt is: Compose. I thought I would take a break from composing posts about my Europe pictures...


I have to confess another little guilty pleasure; making OOAK mermaids!!

Around two years ago, I started making these little mermaids and for a while, I became obsessed. The passion has died down since then, but I'm still smitten. I composed a story and a personality for each doll. I gave them a name and developed what I called a character card. If you know anything about me and my 'Fine Art' you'll know that these are quite a departure for me. The part of me that creates these dolls often feels silly. Unfortunately, I have even felt embarrassed about showing them to anyone, since they fall into that horribly divisive conflict of art vs. craft. Unlike the majority of the art world, I do not prescribe to the idea that fine artists shouldn't craft and crafters aren't fine artists. There is something about having an MFA that induces some intellectual snobbery about art in people, obviously not me. I have my MFA and still love to create functional crafts and obviously play with dolls! I find the mermaids artistically fascinating. I get a joy and peace when I’m constructing art dolls, unlike any other activity. Perhaps it’s the combination of tactile materials and fibers, along with the human form and the ability to compose a little world of tangible bits and pieces. maybe its about bringing a 2d illustration into a 3D piece of matter infused with spirit. What ever it is, I'm no longer going to be ashamed for it! Each is hand-sculpted out of polymer clay, with absolutely no use of molds. Therefore, every doll is unique (OOAK=one of a kind).


Meet La Chismosa or Chatty Patty

This Mermaid is a talker. She is all about catching up on the latest and being right on the doorstep of any blue world breaking news. Her most precious treasure: her state of the art seashell cell. You will never catch her without it. La Chismosa is also very stylish and witty. When the gossip of the day implies peril, La Chismosa knows who to call to set things right. She's proud of her keen perception and dynamic social skills. La Chismosa is everybody's friend, its the best way to get the low-down.

Sits around 3” tall with a 5 ½”long tail and is 2 ½” wide.

Quite a few family members own one of my mermaids. In addition many of the mermaids have sold through consignment at Midnight Owl in Chester, NJ. If you are interested in any of the mermaids available now, you can get them through my Etsy shop!


Munich Jewels & My Knight in Shining  Armor



The Rathaus Glockenspiel! So we have finally made it to Germany! By this point in the photo diary we had already taken a night train from Paris (I spared you those pics) and we have arrived to a very cold Munich.

Click to see!

IMG_6340.jpg 1915508-1492534-thumbnail.jpg
Gregg Drawing @ the Square CLick Image!

click on this little thumbnail of Gregg's drawing to see it's gestural mastery up close!

We saw the collection at the Royal Palace in Munich. I saw jewels and crowns unlike any of those I have every seen before. Now you may think Gregg is my Knight in shining armor (and you would be correct), however I wouldn't say no to this kind of Knight in shining armor either:


Click on this neck piece to see it in all its glory!

A different kind of colorful eye-candy isn't it?

What would I do with palaces, crowns and knights in shining armor anyway? When all I seem to need is in my beautiful puppies, their wagging tails and cries of joy when I walk through the door. Still, not sure I would turn down a palace...especially if it meant I didn't have to commute to work anymore!!


Parisian Color & the D' Orsay


A while back I wrote a few posts about Color and the Absence of Color. Last night (April 10th) Gregg and I were visiting artists at Hartwick College. During his portion of the talk, Gregg recommended the COLOR book that I have recommended here on my site again. Although I have so much to say about our Hartwick talk, until I get that prepared, I remembered these Euro pics that resonate in my mind like palettes of powdered pigment.


In re-looking at this pic I was struck by the child's hand reflected in the mirror above all of the candy...I never noticed it when I actually took the picture.



Now that we have seen some color, I want to juxtapose these impregnated images with some pics from The Musee d'Orsay (my favorite Parisian museum). This 19th century art museum holds some of the most amazing paintings and sculptures I have ever seen. One of my personal favorite artist, Camille Claudel has some pieces at the D'Orsay like this one:

Camille Claudel click to see


There are other sculptures by other masters as well, such as the ones I have captured here. Many of the pictures I chose to take are of sculptures that relay emotions such as ecstasy and agony. Unfortunately, I can't tell you who many of them are done by.


IMG_6239.JPG 1915508-1486924-thumbnail.jpg
Click to see

click to see!


The d'Orsay Clock (the bldg used to be an old rail road station) Click!!
The d'Orsay - Click!
This is a great shot of Sacre Couer (a famous art school in Paris) through another d'Orsay clock. Click to see!

I hope you enjoyed these newest pics - let me know your thoughts by clicking on the 'Post a Comment' words in the grey bar just below. My blogging will start picking up in speed again this week, since report card writing and traveling for the month is finally done! I have so much to share about our artist talk at Hartwick college, and some phenomenal and inspiring artists that I met there. I will most likely be interrupting the Europe pics to share it all with you. So please stay tuned!!


The Louvre & Ladurée

The Louvre is to Paris what the Metropolitan Museum of Art is to New York City. As an art museum in its most recent existence, the architectural structure of the Louvre, has been a focal point in central Paris since the late 12th century. Built on the city's western edge, the original structure that originated as a fortress was transformed into the modernized dwelling of François I and, later, the sumptuous palace of the Sun King, Louis XIV. The Musée du Louvre is said to house a fine collection of over 380,000 objects.


Here is a shot I took of the ever-popular Winged Victory of Samothrace. As stated in the Louvre website:

"The Winged Victory of Samothrace is one of the masterpieces of Hellenistic sculpture...The nude female body is revealed by the transparency of the wet drapery, much in the manner of classical works from the fifth century BC, while the cord worn just beneath the breasts recalls a clothing style that was popular beginning in the fourth century...the sculptor has been remarkably skillful in creating visual effects. The decorative richness, sense of volume, and intensity of movement are characteristic of a Rhodian style that prefigures the baroque creations of the Pergamene school (180-160 BC)."



The Louvre Pyramid is a glass pyramid commissioned by then French president François Mitterrand and designed by I. M. Pei a Chinese-American architect. Here is Gregg symmetrically synced with I. M. Pei and here I am!


Here is one of my favorite paintings at the Louvre, "The Intervention of the Sabine women" by Jacques-Louis David (1799, oil on canvas, 385 x 522 cm.) I got some flash-glare on the top, and it is obviously cropped, but otherwise I'm pretty happy with my image. According to Titus Livy. The History of Early Rome. The Easton Press. 1978., “This was the moment when the Sabine women, the origin cause of the quarrel, played their decisive part…. they braved the flying spears and thrust their way in a body between the embattled armies. They parted the angry combatants; they besought their fathers on the one side, their husbands on the other, to spare themselves the curse of shedding kindred blood.”


I don't need to be a mother to feel the deep maternal calling and instinct in this sculpture. I was profoundly moved by the fact that there once was a child on this mother's back and now only hand is left in it's place.


Burial of Atala, 1813 Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson (French, 1767–1824)Oil on canvas; 81 5/16 x 104 1/2 in.

The Three Graces Click to see
Grand Odalisque by Ingres Click


On our way to Ladurée! What is Ladurée? Only one of the most amazing Patisseries in Paris. Apparently all those great cakes/pastries in Sophia Coppola's Marie Antoinette movie were ordered by Ladurée. The pastry packages alone are works of art!IMG_6279.JPGIMG_6276.JPG1915508-1475635-thumbnail.jpg
Edible Art Click to See!
More Edible Art Click!
Laduree Edible Art
Laduree Counter



Parisian Post Cards, Macaroons, Notre Dame & The Metro


I took this picture from within the bus and through the bus window. Unlike so many of the other pictures I took that way, there is no glare or dirty pane clouding the view. As for why I took the Boulanger pic - what gorgeous color for a bakery and sandwich shop!


Here is one of my artistic guilty pleasures, taking pics of postcards. I know it's wicked, but I'm not reproducing the pics for mass resale. Honestly, I purchased around twenty postcards throughout the whole trip as it was, since the postcard is the 'poor man's/lady's souvenir'.1915508-1469788-thumbnail.jpg
Parisian Postcards

From the moment you arrive into Paris, you cannot avoid the delicacy of a Pâtisserie. A Pâtisserie is a French bakery that specializes in pastries and sweets (unlike the Boulanger which specializes in bread and sandwiches). In France, it is an official title that only bakeries that employ a maître pâtissier (master pastry chef) may use. The pâtissier is an artist who wants his or her creations to be as individual as they are, which is the reason for so many variations in French pastry shops and in pâtisserie recipes. However the mother of all (in city center Paris) I discovered is a shop called Laduree which I will most likely come to in the next post. The above pic is of macaroons which are extraordinarily more delicious than they even look!


Notre Dame Cathedral!!


Notre Dame cathedral is a Gothic cathedral with amazing examples of stained glass. The entrance sculptures include reliefs of the last judgement. I loved the composition of the Notre Dame candles with the sculptures.


Here we are (Gregg & I) in some courtyard we know not the name of in Paris on our way to the Louvre museum. Gregg is standing in front of a stamp store, apparently the same one that was featured in the Alfred Hitchcock film, Charade (the original Truth About Charlie).


Click to see!

Here are some of our students in that very same courtyard beginning a 53 american student take over of a totem public art piece.

Click to see larger.



What do you think this is? Well, a lot in Paris is done by competitions. For example, when they want a new look for the metro (subway) station they hold a competition. What you see here was a winner! I'm not sure if it was an art 'student' competition or a professional art comp. I wish I could tell you the designers name. Either way, it yielded some pretty interesting results! I don't know why, but as into innovation and originality as I am, I still kind of like the art nouveau classic metro-station pictured above. Still, I wouldn't say no to jewel of a station like this! Psychotic. So stay tuned next as we hit the Louvre, the best macaroon ever in Chartres, Laduree, Versailles and who knows what else before we take the night train to Munich! I hope I'm not boring any of you! Keep letting me know what you think, your comments have been FANTASTIC and they keep me charging ahead.


Paris: Architecture, Cirque, Pompidou, Grafitti & C215!


As promised here are some more pics of my trip. Since there are so many images (I travel with a 2gig memory photo card) I am seriously editing, yet still finding it difficult to jump to our next destination without thoroughly doing each city artistic justice. So sit back and enjoy the trip!


Gregg and my shadow - I find shadow pics quite fascinating and such ephemeral stains of our existence and presence.

Check out the most romantic Parisian window.



And of course phenomenal architecture.


Above - I love their faces...especially the somber one on the far left. Below- these performers were in front of the Pompidou (Paris' modern & contemporary art museum).



The Pompidou Fountain Click to see larger
The Eiffel from the Bus Click to see larger1915508-1463447-thumbnail.jpg
Louise Bourgeois' Spider Click to see larger
Me with a Nutella Crepe & cold wind! 1915508-1463561-thumbnail.jpg
The Eiffel from the Bus II Click to See

C215 is a graffiti artist Gregg and I have been following, we have seen his art in NYC. He is a an exceptional stencil artist and we recently learned he is based in France! Our students have made stencil projects inspired by C215!


I thought the pic I took above juxtaposed the C215 image well & the word 'plan' above her. She also reminded me of a B&W pic I took years ago of some homeless women across the street from the Louvre (which is still one of our future destinations!). So stay tuned for some Notre Dame Cathedral, macaroons, postcards, and more art next time! And as usual leave me a comment and let me know what you think of your trip tic so far!!!


Paris, Munich and Berlin!!

Back from Europe and Breaking a 102 degree Fever!!

Unfortunately, I'm back without the ability to swallow painlessly. Twenty four hours after stepping foot on North American soil my body physically collapsed. I spent most of this weekend burning up and Sunday morning in the emergency room. Don't know if it was being around 53 Spring-Break-therefore-sleepless-high-schooler's on a boot-camp-style regimen of museums and tours in less than favorable weather (snow, rain, hail and ice cold wind), let alone that some of those 53 were complaining about 'Strep' throat and other mysterious ailments. Well, some antibiotic-filled-hours since, I'm finally able to face the keyboard and share SOME of the 750 photos that I took with you all! Mind you my aesthetic sensibilities lend for some alternate type of photos. It was my third time in Paris, second time to Munich and first time to Berlin so as we travelled through those cities expect to see not only some of the typical tourist images, but some of my quirky, graffiti, dessert and color-filled images. Since I can't possibly share it all at once expect this to be the subject of choice through out the next few posts. I hope you enjoy the images and words!!!


Blogging from Paris



The shot above is one of my pics of the Eiffel Tower & of the peace monument that is located at the end of the Parc du Champs de Mars. The glass walls of the monument have the word "peace" written/etched onto the glass in many of the world's languages. The monument is called Le Mur de la Paix (The Peace Wall). It was made by Clara Halter, the wife of famous writer/painter/philosopher Marek Halter and officially erected in 2000.

The image to the right is of Gregg as he looks through one of the glass panes of the peace monument.


Don't ask me who named this cafe- but I think its brilliant. Most definitely one of the places I would love my fictional characters to have an impromptu romantic meeting - the problem- readers would not find a little cafe called 'You and Me in Suede' believable!!!


Rent-a-Bike and leave it where you like! Why, oh why? can't every city in the US have these?? Well, I can tell you why NYC can't have them - the parts would be sold off instantaneously...or maybe not - I'm done being the Ye-of-little-faith-person I want to believe its possible!!


Can you tell what's wrong with this pic? No, the building is not melting.


In most European cities when they are doing construction on a building they cover it with a sheeting that has imagery on it - like mega-banners. The images are usually of a building itself to disguise that construction is even happening. Sometimes there will be something quirky happening in the image like in the building windows or there will be elegant large scale advertisements on the sheets. This time they took a Salvador Dali cue and distorted the image of the building. Pretty cool if you ask me.

Me in the Marriott Rive Gauche/Paris Lobby (click to see larger)
So let me know what you think and stop back by in a few days to see some more of Euro & Me!!!

Artist Gregg Emery - On Being Centered


My husband is both a professional sketcher and a painter. We work in two completely different ways. He is an extrovert and I am in introvert. That is to say he gathers his energy from external sources and I from interenal. With that said, he can draw in public (and does so frequently) I on the other hand have to be alone in the studio - with no one looking over my shoulder!

So about Gregg Emery, he has over two hundred sketchbooks filled with drawings. These are gesture drawings done with a piece of graphite as pictured here:

There is no eraser, no point, only an edge. Therefore, he never erases. Every line even if done in a not-so proportionate way, remains as part of the overall composition. Much like life, we get no erasers- no do-overs. Instead we have to learn to live with the choices we have made, move-on and resolve them -but we can't really erase them. He draws anywhere - and I mean anywhere, at music performances, at broadway musicals, on the subway, in the cafe, restaurants, really just anywhere. I have even seen him draw while he was walking!

IMG_0849.JPGIMG_1180.JPG Most of our students know this side of Emery, but what they don't know is the prolific painter he is and his penchant for abstract yet centered art.

Gregg is concerned with discerning an internal balance within and without our human selves. He is concerend with making connections and the deep value involved with human exchange. His paintings and his drawings remind me of Rumi's poetry on being centered.

To see more of Gregg Emery's work click on his name here! His latest Paris/Munich/Berlin sketches will be posted by Sunday!!!

My Handmade Laptop Bag and Life Questions

IMG_1546.JPGThis was my back-to-school-craft that I made at the end of summer. Like the students its hard to get excited about returning to the school year. I am in love with Japanese craft books and I found book like this one:l_p10039563581.jpg

The books are not in English but the imagery, layout design and quality transcends translation and is exceptional. Click on the book to get order information!

As you may be able to tell I miss living in NYC; my birthplace and families home outside of Puerto Rico. I can't say that I regret moving out of NYC, because I don't. I simply miss it.

Most of us tend to learn early on that we should never live life with regret. Fortunately, I usually don't cater to regret at all. Still, I find the following questions intriguing, because we still often catch ourselves saying "I wish I hadn't done that." What I do regret, was not being more mindful of the importance of a community before my husband and I purchased our first home out here in the dune docks of hunting country (we're not hunters).

So here are the questions:


  • If you learned you would die in a few days, what regrets would you have?
  • If you were given five extra years of life, could you avoid those same regrets five years hence?

    I realize the answers to these questions may be too personal and complex to share here with me, so I added another question from the Book of Questions for you to ponder and share with me!!!

  • If you had the choice of one intimate soulmate and NO other close friends, or of no such soulmate and many friends and acquaintances which would you choose?

Since marrying and moving out of NYC this is more or less where I have found myself...with a soulmate and not many local friends - but I didn't really have a choice. If I had a choice (as this question implies...) I'm not sure I would change anything.