Monday, February 16, 2015

Sometimes, long after words are written, they are found. Such is the case with a blog entry I made back in 2008. Today I received a beautiful note from one of my readers. They had come across this poem which was cast into stone at the Cosanti Bell Foundry. I included the poem in my 2008 blog entry. 
Turns out, this poem was in my readers grandmothers' possessions. 
These words have followed me through the years. Her note reached me on a day I was getting some poignant news. Perhaps her note and me rereading these fine words were meant to criss cross. In this photo you can see the lines of type cast into the wall at Cosanti. 
The poem was cast by a worker there in 1968. 
The area it was cast was an area mostly utilized by the workers or those living on site.



Friday, March 15, 2013


When I was a young impressionable girl with a wild imagination, I wanted to be a mermaid. I would drape pearls and beads around my neck, hibiscus in my hair and run around the orange trees in our yard. I'd examine the patterns in my vinyl swimming pool looking for traces of mermaids and magical things. The sides were blue and had a patten like finger prints. It was mesmerizing. Having grown up on Florida's Gulf Coast I loved water. My parents took my brother and I to Weeki Wachee Springs one Saturday afternoon.
My life was never the same.
We saw the mermaids perform their underwater show. Back then, the mermaids lived in small cabanas at the back of the property. I wanted nothing more than to be one of them.

Sirens of the sea have guarded ships by crowning their bow, been inked onto sailors arms, and cultivated the aquatic imagination of little girls everywhere. I was one of those girls.

This box is a tribute to those beautiful Mermaids......wherever you are, whatever size you are!

This TattooDreams Box is available at the Orchard Gallery in Fort Wayne, IN. as a part of their Art Becomes Her Exhibit.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Yesterday, at a small show, I encountered two uniquely different people who buy art.
One, someone I've known for some 20+ years. 
Another, I have known for only a few years.
Both collect art.
This is where the similarity ends.

He boasts-
Credentials of the other work he owns.  
What prestigious shows these artists have been in.
The artists whose homes he's been in.
Not what fun he had, but
how good was their collection.
He does this with such memory and bravado,
scratching his head to recall. 
He doesn't listen. 
He doesn't smile.
He doesn't really even seem happy.He only wants to be heard. 
Tedious one way conversation. 
As if these veils make large his small stature.
All the while I feel certain I'm being judged on the back stories he knows that I don't.
I don't seem to care but listen nonetheless.
I wonder how many others do this as well.
My mind wanders as he drones on.
I want to sit down.
I want to scream or be interrupted.Yes, it's clearly his choice to buy and collect in this manner.
A misplaced set of social skills are part of his collection.

Then later, I had the pleasure of speaking with another collector of art.  
She embraces. 
Not a quick hug, but one that places one heart opposite another heart.
No name dropping or boasting of how she has acquired the 'best work' of an artist.
She quietly goes about getting to really know an artist and hear their voice.
Find their soul in the work.
This is someone I can understand.Her eyes a reflection of a life passion -
one that bears witness to her love of the people 
who build
and create what she enjoys collecting.
A woman who tells you that she 
touches your work 
in her home 
and thinks of you
-getting well
-becoming strong
-praying for your life
-to flourish
-to continue 
to create.

I would have had to have been dead to not notice -
the vast difference.
In their eyes,
their body language,
their words,
their listening,
their not listening,
their spirit,
their inner joy,
their demeanor.

As an artist who is trying to carve out a living making art, 
I always hope the person who opens their wallet for my work 
will be someone I want to have 'own' my work. 
This has always been my hope.
It always will be, no matter how much I need a sale.

One walks away. 
Hands clinched.
Hat in hand, his critical self 
tightly encased 
in statistics,
in credentials -
in finding more'stuff'.

The other,
and leaves you feeling
that despite anything that
is happening to you-
that you are strong enough 
good enough
and reminds you just how much
your work means to her and how much she enjoys owning your work.

How people make you feel
-is unforgettable.
Like I said, people have different reasons for buying art.

Patricia Hecker

Friday, December 14, 2012

Where Do We Begin?

We are a country that is torn apart.
D i v i d e d
and sadly-
one another.

I'm not sure how we come together and stay together.
How we heal.
How we unfold - safely
in our

Today my own world feels
like it needs to close in-
grow smaller-
and heal.

I'm not sure how people of such diverse ideas
can come together
and speak
when everyone seems
to be shouting
and divisive.

We need to find a way.
We need to make peace.

~Patricia Hecker
December 14, 2012

Photo courtesy Jennifer A Ramos

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cinnamon Carrot Bread Recipe

3/4 c. white sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. canola or sunflower oil
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp.ground cinnamon
1 tsp. coriander
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 c. finely grated carrots
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 chopped pecans or raisins

In a large bowl combine the sugars, oil and mix well.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
Gradually add the dry ingredients and the beaten egg mixture to the sugar and oil mixture.
Mix well.
Next add the carrots and vanilla.
Place batter in greased loaf pan.
Bake in a preheated 350º and bake for one hour.
Let loaf sit for about 10 min. on a wire rack to cool before removing.

Warm from the oven, this is a wonderful fall treat.

Friday, August 10, 2012

What's Wrong With Me?

Our lilac bush was budding and the sound of song birds perched high in our sycamore tree chirping filled the air. Wiggly pink earthworms found warmth on the driveway after the nights rain. Small wonders seem more apparent as I moved slower. In my not so distant memory, I recall stretching my legs at a faster pace and moving quicker. While I'm not sure I'll move this way anytime soon, if ever, I recall it easily. ~ Spring 2012

The day before Valentines Day this year I was officially diagnosed with Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease. UCTD for short.
Most people, including me, had never heard of this. There are a handful of connective tissue diseases and when your body hasn't quite settled into enough symptoms to definitively diagnose which one, this is what they call it. My Uncle died last fall from one of these Connective Tissue Diseases, Systemic Scleroderma. 
My last conversation with him, he reminded me to tell my doctors about the strong history of these autoimmune diseases on our side of the family. His strong faith and acceptance left an indelible legacy.

Blood work sent to Mayo Clinic held the answers for me. My diagnosis took months to obtain. Blood tests, nerve exams, three neurologists, two MRI's of my brain and spinal cord and eliminating an MS diagnosis brought this to fruition. When you're a diabetic oftentimes that becomes the 'go to' answer. I knew there was something very amiss inside me. A huge amount of patience was required - not my strong suit mind you. 
I began not feeling quite right last July in the heat of summer. Bright lights, heat, sun, loud noises and odd nerve pain was adversely affecting me. We changed lightbulbs and lighting in our home and studio. I'd dimmed the light on my computer screen. I'd lost strength down the right side of my body. Most noticeably in my leg. I began using a cane. Oftentimes I've had a hard time articulating words or thoughts. Confusion over simple things comes easily and makes us both laugh. 
And in that laughter comes some sort of odd acceptance. 
The alternative is to cry, and I've done plenty of that. This along with bouts of depression. Yes, someone who lives in a purple house really can be depressed! Sometimes daunting when mixed with pain management. Pain in turn adversely affects blood chemistry making my Type 1 diabetes a greater challenge.

I believe that's where we are with this right now. We waited months to hear what was wrong and now we know. Jon's been my rock through all of this. He quietly senses what I need and makes adjustments. 
Memory issues have brought about small yellow post it notes around our home reminding me of things. Seems silly, but necessary. Eight weeks of physical therapy showed mixed results.
What has happened seems humbling. An internally quieting sensation. Not necessarily bad, but a game changer. Then again, life is a series of changes. 
I'm not sure if I'm getting better or worse. More tests will indicate where this is going. The medication I'm on is treating me as if this is already Lupus, so it's easier to say that is what I have. 
I can remember how it felt to have stamina, walk faster and think clearly. One of the hardest things to do for me is to walk into a room of people who I haven't seen in a while. Or to see people who don't know what's wrong with me. People have questions. Some ask, some don't. 
I wish I had more answers.

My tendency is to fight. I watched my Mom do that as she battled cancer at a very young age. She never gave up. She had two kids. She wanted to see us graduate from high school. 
She didn't get to do that. 
But I watched her maneuver a daunting battle. I wonder how much energy she used to do this. Mine is nothing compared to what she encountered. 
I'm wrestling with her memory of fight and my reality of accepting so as to not waste energy.
I'm tired all the time.
I've come to learn tiredness is it's own disease.
It takes time from you. Trying to rearrange your life around that takes time.
I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. 

Small things feel big and big things seem small as perspective shifts. 
Perhaps this is a gift I've not fully realized.
I've got the most amazing support of family and friends.
I'm blessed - things could be worse.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Back by popular demand! The best guacamole recipe, from Jon Hecker
2 or 3 medium size ripe Hass avocados
1 large clove of garlic
1/2 c red onion
1 roma tomato
1/2 lime
1/4 c fresh cilantro
1 tbsp. sour cream
1 tsp. coarse salt

Prepare the ingredients:
Finely chop the garlic
Slice onion into thin slices and chop into pieces.
Slice tomato in half, remove inside flesh and seeds. Then cut outer layer into strips and chop into small pieces.
Rinse a small bundle of cilantro thoroughly, dry with a towel and chop into fine pieces.
Once all of the above is prepared, cut each avocado in half and remove pit. Scoop with spoon and place into bowl.

Mash the avocados thoroughly. Next, incorporate the onion, garlic, cilantro and tomatoes. Add the sour cream to bring consistency to a creamy suspension. Squeeze the juice of half a lime and mix thoroughly. This will bring it to the final texture. Cover the mix with plastic wrap and chill for several hours. When ready, salt to taste, adding roughly 1 teaspoon. Mix thoroughly.

Tips for the best results: Pick avocados that are firm and not mushy. A slight resistance means it is ready. If it is very firm, place into a brown paper bag and store at room temperature for 2-3 days until soft enough for preparation.

Enjoy with your favorite tequila and Mexican dish.