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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.

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Entries in Inspiration (6)


The Gift of Prints n Student Creativity

Students, both former and current are one of the greatest forms of creativity sparks and inspiration we can have as teachers and quite honestly as human beings.

From founder of Karma Seed Chris Lo, to current Brown University student Isabella Giancarlo (who recently sent me an envelope filled with valentines day handmade wares including a silk-screened pillowcase) and Colin Alexander current art student to my alma mater Maryland Institute College of Art whose art graces my walls- students feed my daily life.

Current students do it on an hourly basis - whether it is with a cool new nail polish design, an altered book art piece they made, their illustrations, or math class doodles or simply their solutions to the parameters of my assignments, like AK's solution to my good ol' brown paper bag">BROWN PAPER BAG HEAD PIECE PROJECT you see here: made entirely of brown paper brown paper bag">lunch bags to read about this assignment click brown paper bag">here.

Wearable Art made of brown paper bags by my current student AK Hence todays post- A former student came bearing beautiful gifts recently - Lena Jorde (who I taught for only one year during her freshman year of high school before she transferred out of my school). The one year we shared was a full one, Lena participated in my Herstory project and we got very close. And we remained close- at times she wrote me letters and even brought me as a speaker to the Putney school to present the Herstory project. I have always been impressed by Lena, her maturity and her artistic inclinations among an array of other passions and talents..always choosing the path of greatest resistance and integrity in order to develop her whole self. Lets put it this way - she chose to milk the cows at dawn while in high school - as opposed to a cush office task...now that is what I'm talking about. Lena is now a graduate of the Putney School and is attending Columbia University. Without realizing it she made an inadvertent portrait of both my hub and I :
He uses a coffee infuser and I of course am all about tea.

tea by lena jorde

coffee print by lena jorde


Attending to the Sketchbook 

I've been daydreaming alot lately in my sketchbook.

However, as I start to fall pretty deep into the rabbit hole and lose sense of the impending end to the summer- I have to keep poking my head out into reality for air - and I thought what better time to share some details of pages with you. These sketches are all unfinished and these photos are pretty shabby and taken with my cell phone...when they're finished I'll post better, clearer and protected images.

This is a sketch of the winner of the television show 'So You Think You Can Dance' doing a dance number while I paused the recording.

an idea of who is more animal by m. diaz - do not use any images off of this site a sketchbk feeling by m.diaz

Considering my beast sketch by m.diaz


Images may not be used off of this site with out explicit request, However independent bloggers may use no more than 2 images and must please give credit and link back to this site. Thank You.

thinking of Yemaya sketch by m. diaz

Hope you enjoyed this little wacky mind-meld with me and that you come back to see and read more about living an off beat ART full life.

Ciao -Amarettogirl


Inspiring Artist- Kiki Smith

I'm in Paris for my last night! Tomorrow we spend the last Parisian day absorbing the exquisite sites. There is an amazing Marie Antoinette exhibit that I am hoping to see, as well as, Jim Morrison's grave and a phenomenal Patisserie that I spotted earlier on the trip (providing there is no drama with the students - tomorrows block of free time should prove exceptionally appreciated and divine). Thus far, all of us are incredibly cold and exhausted, yet we have seen absolutely phenomenal things. This is my third time in Paris and each time feels deeply more moving. I'm afraid the weather in Berlin will be the death of us as far as weather! Next is Munich than Berlin. I wrote quite a few blog posts before I left anticipating having no internet access, so the following is one of those posts!

One of my favorite artist is Kiki Smith


photo by Nan Goldin

"Best known for provocative depictions of the female body — both in anatomical fragments and in full figure — Kiki Smith has explored a broad range of subjects, including religion, folklore, mythology, natural science, art history, and feminism. By turns intimate, universal, visceral, and fragile, Smith's art renders the figure in frank, nonheroic terms, expressing its dual aspects of vulnerability and strength. Smith uses a wide variety of media, seeking out equivalences between the body and materials of art — the fragility and imperfections of skin and handmade papers, for example, or the fleshy, organic volumes of wax and plaster. Organized in close collaboration with the artist, this full-scale survey of her 25-year career includes nearly 100 objects grouped into thematic clusters she refers to as "gatherings," with works in plaster, bronze, paper, glass, and ceramic, as well as installations, prints, drawings, and photographs."-SFMOMA WEBSITE


I saw Kiki Smith speak at some museum talk back when I was living in Baltimore and working on my MFA. She combines printmaking and varied mediums in her work which is often rich with female referents. She is fascinated with dissecting the myths around our sociological culture. I am in awe of her presence and mind. I think she is most definitely a phenomenal woman. Check out Kiki Smith and tell me what you think! Mind you the video is part of the Art:21 PBS series and is an excerpt of a longer piece. The snippet does come across as a bit morbid.

If you have never heard of Kiki Smith I really recommend clicking of the links I have provided since her work is more varied than what I could possibly offer here! I especially marvel at her Prints, Books & Things collection. This website is informative, interactive and elegantly designed- its a real treat. Furthermore, the Feminine Context theme is excellent, thought-provoking and stimulating for any artist with 'female sensiblities' at the core of what they do!


Inspiring Artist- Candy Jernigan


Candy Jernigan

This is another one of my favorite artist's. Candy Jernigan collected memoribilia of her everyday life and experiences to manifest the idea of proof of life/ EVIDENCE of her existence. If you think about it, its a powerful concept to honor the mundane of your life, to be fully present and say "I Was Here".


These are object drawings, from a trip to Rome. It gives all new meaning to scrapbooking doesn't it?


This is a drawing of each Cheese Doodle that she ate. The drawing even comes with a clever map of the route the Cheese Doodle takes as it travels through her body!

Can tabs! Candy Jernigan collected both real and illustrated evidence of her life, unknowingly of the fact the she would die too young from liver cancer.

dustbasilica.jpgdustbasilicaII.jpg These images have dust from the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Grottoes, St. Peter's Basilica!!

Lately, I've been thinking about our collective consciousness and impressions, marks and stains that our life leaves - as residual impressions on people and space. I hope you enjoyed looking at Candy Jernigan's work and that it has given you (as it has me) a new way to be present in the world around you!


Inspiring Artist - Judith Schaechter


Judith Schaechter, Stained Glass, Snakes and Ladders 31"X30", 2003

The first time I ever saw Judith Schaechter's work I was doing our yearly NYC Chelsea gallery walk with our senior high-school class and it was quite a few years ago. I was floored by a stained glass artist using the medium in such a fresh/new, illustrative way. To me, she is the first artist that has therefore given a medium that I felt had been relegated to sun catchers, imitation Tiffany lamps, craft fairs and cathedral metaphors of 'enlightenment' a new face. Not everyone may appreciate Judith's work since it has a macabre, sombre often deathly glow about it. She enjoys investigating "...sex and death, with romance and violence the obvious runners up. I'm trying to be as cliche, sentimental, and decorative as possible--not as a strategy for ironic commentary about how stupid sentimentality and clichés are, but because this is the stuff, that time and time again, I am obsessed with, in love with, and that I have faith in."- Judith Schaecter

Grant it my husband and I, appreciate this kind of sensibility. We are after all huge Tim Burton fans! We each are collectors of Nightmare Before Christmas memorabilia before we met...he had all the Jack stuff and I had all the Sally. In fact, my husband's cousin Facundo Rabaudi worked as a model-maker on the set of that film (along with quite a few other phenomenal animations), and we were able to see some of the actual pieces used in Nightmare in real life! We love Edward Scissorhands, Corpse Bride, and Tim Burton's book of poetry - The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy...so you see Judith Schaechter's work doesn't jar us in any negative way.

Technically, Judith's art is brilliant and painstaking work. She uses something called flash glass, a material that I am still looking into which she sand-blasts, etches and layers to get the color. I am still researching the areas that look so painterly.

My understanding is that Judth Schaecter uses the copper foil method, as do I. If this is true, it makes me happy to hear since I haven't had the opportunity to learn the lead came method and I always berate myself for it. So yes, I enjoy stained glass too. Here is a sample of one of my older stained glass pieces of a Phoenix.


My work pales in comparison to Judith Schaecter, but I am looking forward to the inspiration she serves me and my newest adventures in drawing on glass with powdered frit. Right now though I'm working on a series of oil paintings for the Herstory project and it will be while before I get to play with stained glass again.

Whether you work in glass, are a writer, illustrator or painter, seeing the work of other artists can inform your own discipline in countless ways. So check out new artists working around you and get inspired!


Welcome to my blog!

Image by Inspiring Artist Vanessa Beecroft

Well, its finally here - my blog!

As an artist, and a maker, I am deeply invested in seeing how designing one's own life alongside of principles of balance and peace can be pursued actively. Hopefully, that comes through in the artwork that I produce and is displayed here on this site.

For my first blog, I wanted to highlight some inspirational work from other artists. First, please check out the work of painter Kehinde Wiley, a Harlem-based artist who has been a major inspiration in my Herstory Re-Envisioned project (images of which can be seen in my Herstory portfolio). In addition, I am particularly inlove with this Vanessa Beecroft image, South Sudan. It is powerful, riveting and technically inspirational to say the least.

I find that it's really difficult to come to peace with art making these days. Especially, in such a visually saturated society, like we have here in the US. I've come to a point and time in my life where I feel strongly about being an agent of change. Lately, I've struggled with abandoning the technical proficiency of my artistic training for deeper meaning and purpose. I'm also a 'big-time' crafter. I cannot stand the prevalent divide among craft and fine art. For anyone who holds my position, we are makers and to be makers today is to be informed by all aspects of image-making. We are in the middle of a DIY revolution from podcasting, YouTube to blogging. I think that force alone, will soon erase the divide. I think the most important thing is simply to be conscious and thoughtful of what you produce, how and why.