TTBMJ October: Trip Inspirations – Women Artists Around the World

Oct 2, 2013



(Me with Marina Soria from Buenos Aires, teacher of Calligraphy in Blossom class.)

Whenever I am lucky enough to go on a trip, I am always on the lookout for inspiration from artists and artisans I would not have the chance to experience otherwise.

Combine that with taking a class or workshop, and I come home with my cup not only filled, but running over! I share some of that overload of inspiration with you this month. My recent trip to Argentina not only exposed me to the crafts, color and talents of this vast country, but I also was lucky to take in the museum show of a Japanese phenomenon who paints polka dots and meet some wonderfully talented new friends from not only Argentina, but from around the globe! As I share a piece of this world of inspiration with you here…please enjoy!

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Class: Calligraphy in Blossom (the reason I went to Argentina!)

I had the distinct pleasure to participate in a 6 day workshop in Buenos Aires taught by renowned calligrapher/ artist Marina Soria called “Calligraphy in Blossom”. Our class of 10 women from around the world experimented with calligraphy, painting and poetry under the direction of Marina, writer Andrea Jauregui and coordinated by Ines Talon. Learn more about the class and these 3 very talented women artists here.

Our group of class participants not only freed our inner artists, but we bonded and made some strong friendships that I believe will endure time and distance. It was an experience I will never forget!

To see the recap and work that came out of our workshop, visit:

To view our Flicker Gallery of photos, visit:



Art Exhibit: “Yayoi Kusama – Obsesión infinita [Infinite Obsession]” 
Malba–Fundación Costantini

Arriving in Buenos Aires, our cab from the airport sped by a sight that completely captivated me! Red and white polka dot trees lined a busy street and were calling my name! I found out that the trees were a part of an exhibit at the MALBA Museum featuring the work of Yayoi Kusama. I had recently been fascinated by an interview with Kusama on the CBS Sunday Morning Show, so while in Buenos Aires, I made this exhibit a must-see! We waited in the admission line for well over an hour, but it was more than worth it! The exhibit was not only visually stimulating, but the interactivity and polka dot immersion made us feel like we were part of a 60’s“happening” – which is how Kusama first rose to fame.

Yayoi Kusama, Princess of Polka Dots, is a Japanese Avant-garde sculpture, painter and novelist. Kusama has worked in a wide variety of media, including painting, collage, sculpture, performance art and environmental installations. In 1957 she went to the United States where her work was exhibited alongside the likes of Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and George Segal. Kusama’s works were forgotten after departing from the New York art scene in the early 1970s, but is now acknowledged as one of he most important living artists to come out of Japan. After experiencing psychiatric problems, in 1977 she voluntarily admitted herself to a hospital where she has spent the rest of her life and has continued to produce artworks in a variety of mediums, as well as launching a literary career by publishing several novels, a poetry collection and an autobiography.

Yayoi Kusama:

MALBA Museum:


DIY: Yarn Pom-Poms

Yarn pom-poms captured my heart in Argentina – they were everywhere – adorning homes, hotels, and even people! The colorful selection in this small village shop made quite a statement. Smitten on Paper shows you how to create some of your own!


Product: Jenny Krauss

Jenny Krauss began making gifts 20 years ago, but has spent the last 10 years providing work for Bolivian and Peruvian artisans, most who are women working at home with their children playing nearby. Some of their husbands are now learning to embroider as well. All of their products are made according to fair trade guidelines, which include belts, bags, pillows, luggage tags, sneakers, and anything else they can dream up! Jenny is committed to sustaining their traditions and livelihoods through artistic collaboration. Not only do we love these products, we also carry them in our Kathy Davis Gallery! Jenny’s products are also a part of our featured charity for this month.


Charity: Global Girlfriends

Global girlfriend was created in 2003 to help women worldwide gain economic security while providing unique products. Their fair-trade boutique offers a line of trend-setting, women-made, eco-friendly, fair-trade products including stylish apparel, accessories and gifts with one purpose—helping women in need help themselves. While not limited to Argentina, Global Girlfriend represents women artisans from all over South America, as well as North America…and the world over!