Denise Dances: A Return to Perfect Health - Body, Mind & Spirit!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Check out MAAP!

Just in time for Valentine's Day, please check out my MAAP website. There you will find my latest creations this past Fall and early Winter.  Featuring CAROUSEL SCENES: Lady in Blue, Carousel, and Blue Elephant...and "The Hills Are Alive," partial view of the downtown New London historic waterfront district (and my past) from my LR; "Seaside" (an outdoor oil sketch at Harkness Park) and "Girl Looks Outside," which reflects the artist and is a spoof of an American Impressionist painting at the Old Lyme Art Colony, prominent in the 1800s, here in Connecticut.
UP NEXT (gotta keep you on your toes); you will be able to view, in March, my first in a series, OILS OF BLOCK ISLAND...and "Goldstar Bridge No. 5," (SCENES OF MINI GOLF COURSE IN ACRYLIC FOLK ART). Coming soon: "Schoolhouse No. 4."
For more info, go to:

Also up next: My Birthday, March 3 (1962) -- which is also my niece Julia's birthday (2003); the best birthday present I will ever have -- and my sister Kelley's birthday, March 2 (1963).

Take care everyone! Happy Valentine's Day! Be grateful to the ones you love.



Red Carpet

Check me out at Facebook Friends! Yesterday, Friday, was a balmy day and as I opted to let the day unfold rather than the busy agenda I build for myself each week; I decided to drive to downtown Mystic to see what the fuss is about.  As I entered downtown, I chose a side street instead of remaining in the traffic to cross the bridge and parked on a quiet side street. (Where isn't it quiet in downtown Mystic? Except for the Mystic Art Festival! -- in prep.) My first stop was to see my friends of the family, Bob and Esther Cooper at The Cooper Shoppe. Brighton bracelets, fine clothing, and leather goods abound! In case you haven't picked out a Valentine's gift yet.

Come on, everyone! The snow is gone! Parking on the side streets is easy to come by. There is also the CVS parking lot, if you need to purchase convenience items. The lot at the Mystic Art Center does charge per hour, though.  Bob and Esther were happy to see me, as was Maggie, their beautiful dog.  We agreed that painting is a worthwhile pastime.
Also, I had the pleasure to meet the owner of Studio M at 29 Cottrell Street, Mara Beckwith. I will write more on Mystic, Tuesday, from Groton Library, should check me out on Facebook! I got wrapped! Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! For more info, go to: and friend me!

Happy Valentine's Day, Everyone! (Do what you feel most comfortable doing.)

There is a FREE U.S. Coast Guard Band Concert on Sunday, Feb. 13 at 2pm at The Garde Theater in downtown New London.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


HYGIENIC XXXII: My Review - "Impressions," Winter 2011.

On a cold February afternoon, I made the "return voyage" from the frozen snow of the boardwalk at Ocean Beach to the Hygienic Art Gallery in downtown New London. Here are some impressions of works of art by artists, including people I've known from the past and a well known artist I had the pleasure to meet during the hanging of our paintings on Saturday morning before the show.

Because I had trouble sleeping the night before (too much blood on TV); I overslept. Arriving mid morning, I had the good fortune to meet and chat briefly with the artist Bob Hauschild. Because there was no room left elsewhere, I chose the window facing Bank Street, to hang my painting, "Wish You Were Here," just below his undersea acrylic, "Out of the Blue," as the professional offered expert advice to the amateur. Well known in town, he has been painting since he was three years old. His father was a commercial artist, based in New York. Bob never enjoyed working on commission, but prefers to do his own thing.

On another trip, I noticed the watercolor, "Autumn" by Alyssa Rosengard, with a "SOLD" sticker on it. A former classmate of University of New Haven (the Master's in Teaching program) in 1995-96, I remember Alyssa as a very conscientious over-achiever. We once shared a Group Project together (this will never be my forte and posed the biggest challenge to me during the year-long education program). "Jealousy is creeping all over me." -- Paula used to tease.  As much as I struggle with jealousy at times, I wish Alyssa well as she struggles with depression, as I have. This painting, which shows reflections of trees on a lake in Autumn and appears to be almost photographic, had a reasonable price tag, for a new artist, of $150.

Next, Mary Briones made use of playful experimentation in her mixed media piece, "Transition in Flexibility." Using beheaded Barbies in various positions, she displays adult themes. I remember Mary from my days at "Work Hard, Play Hard," about 2002-05, a group program for adults with various diagnoses through Artreach in Norwich. We enjoyed about two years of recreational and cultural outings together, but I never felt I truly fit in with this group. The trouble with some conditions, such as ADD and Depression is that they are often classified as mental illnesses, which is not always the case. (Check out Susan Boyle, the late bloomer in her 40s with the angelic voice. She was diagnosed with ADD, which was considered a mental illness at the time and she was oft bullied in school. "If they could see her now!")

Next, I would like to quote a poem whose words are beautiful to my ears. The poem accompanies a photograph by Kyle Smith, "Fog Holds Light" (of a fishing pier at Fort Trumbull).


by Raynette Eitel

Fog holds lights in soft hands
stroking the bay,
floating across waters alive with
flickering rays,
the night air whispers of ancient castles
of sand and the gleam of small stars
Stirring the romance of darkness,
Clinging faithfully to the rise and fall
of waves washing in,
swinging to the rhythm of the sea
singing love songs in our ear.

Fog hold lights in soft hands,
holds love in tender hands
hold hope in strong hands
as it rolls in blurring reality
and turning the bay
into an Impressionist painting
with deft strokes.

Fog holds light in soft hands,
holds dreams carefully
as they swoop across our sleep
Like silent moonbeams prowling the night sky.

The fog smothers the future
and remolds the past
leaving us in a blurred limbo
to complete the dream.

Fog holds light in soft hands.

When it is time for it to be gone,
it lifts gently, silently, and


And finally, a piece I find unforgettable, a Watercolor painting and accompanying Audio, OBSESSION by "Shakespeare's Lawyer." (Copyright 2011)
CHORUS: Obsession, Obsession, Obsession, Obsession!
Changing the direction!
Changing the direction!
Changing the direction
Of my life.

As the song on my headphones echoes throughout the sunlit gallery, light bounces off of its white walls.

This review by Denise Hickey. Go check it out before the show ends on Saturday, February 12, 2011.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Garden Hints

Hi, Everyone. I'm back from my visit to Holdridge's in Ledyard Center. I would like to make it known today that, my birthday is coming up on March 3, right on the heels of Valentine's Day. What I would like the most at this particular moment in time is: Gift Certificates to Holdridge's (Ledyard Center in particular).  In early April, I plan to return in order to purchase materials for a booth display rack for my next Outdoor Art Exhibit, which will be on....Saturday, May 14, 2011.  Come and see me at the SAVE OCEAN BEACH BOARDWALK Craft & Tag Sale. 9-3pm. Hey. It ain't easy, barely getting by on $12,500 a year. Why should I be made to feel a criminal in asking for help once in a while? As well, all of my listening, compassion and understanding; and getting caught in the crossfires of the past few years! -- it don't come cheaply.


In Honor of St. Valentine

Sure hope you watched Glee last night! It was sweet! Today, in honor of Valentine's Day, I am taking a side trip to HOLDRIDGE'S in Ledyard Center. On the alarm clock radio this morning, the ad lured me with visions of beautiful floral displays. It will also be a good opportunity for me to search for booth display rack materials for my upcoming outdoor art exhibits this year. See ya here next week. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Pay attention to the ones you love! Whether it's candy, flowers, perfume, lunch or dinner,  and -- oh, yes -- the gift of your time.



Pit Stop

Hi! I'm off today. (70 hits yesterday. Thanx, everyone!)  I will see you here next week, same place, same time. I prefer Groton Library but getting a window seat at the NL Library is pretty good, too.  I don't usually see anyone from my apt bldg there either. :) FOR SENIORS ONLY? In 1969, the nine story high rise (by CT standards) was built for the elderly only. However, today, the federally funded bldg is for adults 50 and over, the "Disabled," and Senior Citizens as well. Do I feel that seniors should be able to have "separate but equal" housing? (in other words, "segregated?") Absolutely, yes. They should have the choice to living in a housing situation exclusively for seniors. However, as an "up and coming artist" and relatively young; I realize that this building, Williams Park Apts, located in the heart of downtown New London is perfect for me right now.  It's been just a year that I started showing my artwork in public on a regular basis. It started with the HYGIENIC XXXI. I also enjoy taking walks downtown when the weather is nice. In the summer, as well as a few events in winter, downtown New London is bursting with awesome events, often outdoors.  So, yes I do think seniors should have their own "separate but equal" housing. But, no, I don't feel that Williams Park Apartments is the place for them. It's the place for me, right now.

Denise Hickey
Williams Park Apartments
New London, CT

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Red Carpet

RED CARPET: Arm Candy.

Red Barn

Whoops! There it is!

White Cap!

The winds are changing...!

Voyage to Block Island

Up Next: Photos of my Art!

Coming up this afternoon: Photos of my artwork from the past few months: September until December 2010.  You will have to wait until March to see the OIL OF BLOCK ISLAND

For more info, go to:

("Baby, you're a firework!")

My Teaching Years

MY TEACHING YEARS (1995-2001 and Fall 2006)

August 1995-June 1996: University of New Haven, Southeastern Branch at Mitchell's New London Campus, overlooking the Thames River.
M.S. in Teaching Program (that's a Master's of Science degree).
Focus: Secondary English.
Tests: Praxix I and II at U-Conn for middle school and secondary education. (Did I pass? Of course! with flying colors! A lot of people didn't pass for middle school, but I had the experience.)
Internship: Special Education Aide, Pawcatuck Middle School, also 1995-96.
("You don't have the natural aptitude that teachers are supposed to have." -- DF, JS, JC at PMS.)
("A lot of teachers don't make it through their first year of teaching.")

Fall 1996: Student Teaching, Leonard J. Tyl Middle School, Montville, CT.
Grade 6. ("I don't want you to go. I want you to stay!" GK) ("You really had to work at it. I thought you should try private school. She'll burn out, I thought." -- PK, Cooperating Teacher, admitted to me years later. But she got paid!)

1996-97: Montville Public Schools
Groton Public Schools
Stonington Public Schools
North Stonington Public Schools
Ella T. Grasso Regional Vocational Technical School

Subjects: All.
What did I like the best? Elementary Music at Claude Chester in Groton.
Most difficult grade: High school!
Next most difficult: First and Second Grade.
Favorite grades: Kindergarten, Third Grade, and the Middle School!
Least favorite subject: Study Hall.

Summer 1997: Huntington School of Business and Allied Health, Norwich, CT.
(Troubled women. Contadictory textbooks. Low pay.)
("Take a deep breath!")

1997-98: Fitch Middle School, Groton, CT.
Special Education Aide, Classroom, 1-1.
7th Grade, all subjects.
(This is the best job I have ever had, of all time. Although low-paying, temporary and no benefits. Where is he now? Say hello to Anthony at Expert Tire!)
("You're in the wrong profession. You are a kind soul. You don't have that killer instinct. You belong in the business world." -- A.A., June 1998)

Winter 1999: Back to Substitute teaching (at West Side Middle School, Groton, CT.)

Summer 1999: LEARN Summer School at Essex Elementary School.
(7th Grade Special Needs students)
("I thought you would be a good match for 'A.'")
(Low-paying, no benefits, temporary.)

Sept. - Dec. 1999: Harvard H. Ellis Regional Vocational Technical School.
Danielson, CT.
High School English, Gr. 9-12.
("The class of 2000 is the worst class we've had in years!")
("If you don't resign, we're going to lay you off." Dec. 1999)
-- Note: But most of the teachers who took the job before me left their keys on the desk after just two weeks in the same classroom.
(At least I can say I once taught English at Harvard!)

Summer 2000: LEARN Summer School at Lillie B. Haynes in East Lyme.

Oct. 2000-April 2001: East Lyme Middle School. Classroom Aide.
("You seem very uncomfortable in my class." "Miss Hickey. You're falling asleep." Mrs. D)
I was working nights at S-S-W at the time, which is where I met Paula.

And finally --
West Side Middle School, Groton, CT.
1-1 Classroom Aide, 7th Grade.
Sept.-Oct. 2006.
(This is where, after just three weeks, in an environment wrought with confusion and pressure, and with increasing physical health problems, I nearly passed out in science class. "I think she should be seen." -- School nurse. This is where I ended up in the ER at PHC in Groton and got the help I needed from all of the caring staff. This was my third stint at West Side Middle School and you know, they say "three's a charm.")

(Denise...Denise Dances...2011)

(Well..they wanna know.)

(You can't say I haven't used my degree.)

(Does it come as no surprise to now...that I mean what I say...when I say...that I would consider a return to perfect health payment enough???...* * * :)


(1) blackball: n. 1: a small black ball for use as a negative vote in a ballot box. 2: an adverse vote esp. against admitting someone to membership in an organization.

(2) blackball: vt. 1: to vote against, esp: to exclude from membership by casting a negative vote. 2a: to exclude socially: OSTRACIZE. b: BOYCOTT.

(Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners???...* * * :) (Song of Solomon 6:10) Just in time for Valentine's Day! Check out the Song of Solomon in your Bible today.

Message of LOVE,


Monday, February 7, 2011

Up Next: My Teaching Years

Probably tomorrow. (Once a teacher, always a teacher!)



Youuuu think that you can fool my fa-mi-ly!
Something you call Love, but confess.
They've been missin' something I ain't missin'!
And now, someone else can guess the rest.

Your boots are made for walkin'!
And that's just what you'll do.
One of these days my boots are gonna walk all over you.

You keep lyin' when you oughta be truthin'!
And I bet your last bet you're gonna lose yet.
You've been doing the same thing for so long now.
Now I know what's right
But you ain't done right yet.

Your boots are made for walkin'!
And that's just what you'll do.
One of these days my boots are gonna walk all over you.

You been lyin', cheatin', bein' greedy, doin' things not worth repeatin'!
And you keep thinkin' that you'll never get caught.

Ha! I've got news for you now,
Don't you know it?
This is one bet I bet
You're gonna live to regret.

Your boots are made for walkin'!
And that's just what you'll do.
One of these days my boots are gonna walk all over you...!

Feb. 2011

Lunch Break

It's time for lunch. Someone is talking in the QUIET STUDY AREA. (I think it is a senior citizen. Hey. They have a right to be grouchy. Rather than speak up, as I have in the past, I am going to leave quietly. Ya get tired of knocking a golf ball against those white caps! (Don't tell me that you never raise your voice! That which we find so hard to tolerate in others -- is actually a MIRROR of ourselves....! (I shall return.)

(Denise...Denise Dances...2011)


"motif:" n. [F, motive, motif] 1a: a usu. recurring salient thematic element in a work of art. esp: a dominant idea or central theme b: a single or repeated design or color 2: an influence or stimulus prompting to action.

The idea for my blog, "Denise Dances" was born in May 2008. I was inspired by my colleague from the "Campus Lantern" weekly newspaper at Eastern Connecticut State University, Deb Nieman. Deborah Nieman-Boyle contacted me through my profile at LINKED IN. Check out her blog, "Antiquity Oaks!"

("Why don't you write about it on the computer?" -- Paula, 2006.)

Where did I get the idea for my "end quotes," the "motifs?"

While living in Boston, 1990-91, I read an article in BOSTON MAGAZINE about the plight of "the hub", re: the Central Artery, etc., etc. At the end of each paragraph or idea, the writer would return to the same recurring theme, using an end quote. I really enjoyed reading this article, one of the best articles I've ever read. I didn't save it. But I never forgot it.

(Pretty good, huh? I know you will never forget my use of motif either!)

(1) Does it come as no surprise to you that I would consider a return to perfect health payment enough? (In December 2006, I had offered to bake cookies and bring them in to PHC, to thank a physician's assistant who helped me there. He politely refused, saying that my card of thanks was "payment enough." I have since found Others who will accept my cookies!!!...* * * :)

(2) Why don't you step outside that lens, my friend? And capsize, with all the lies, that you've been living in? (FROM a popular song............................................)

(3) I've got to see this movie. I've got to see it; I've got to see it! Are we going? We're going; aren't we? If we don't go, I'm going to be mad! (Why...Paula, of course!)

(4) There is only one thing left do to. Get busy. I must carry on! Land ho!
(Upon my return from Block Island in August 2009, I was inspired! on a "business trip" to check out the Block Island Arts & Craft Festival and the opening reception at the Spring Street Gallery, in order to network with other artists. I am also referring to an episode of the TV series, CHARMED, in its eighth season).

(5) What're you crazy? Think you got problems? Are you kiddin' me? I don't get no respect!
(Comedian Rodney Dangerfield, of course.)

(6) You have to deal with that. I'm not responsible. I don't know anything! (These are actual quotes of people who "didn't want to get involved" during my tenure at The Residence, beginning October 2007; and continuing through December 2008. My breakthrough came on November 30, 2009. "Don't leave the house until 2:00 today." -- Did ya get The Memo?)

(7) Hey. I got work to do. I got a life to live. They don't pay me to do this. I don't know anything! (Inspired by my stay at Williams Park Apts, the past year, 2010-2011.) "The more things change, the more they remain the same."

(8) Did Ya Get the Memo? (From Paula, once again! We once joked about corporate office life. What IS the memo? You may have figured it out by now.)

Goldstar Bridge No. 5

Goldstar Bridge No. 5, SCENES OF MINI GOLF COURSE IN ACRYLIC FOLK ART)...coming soon to

"Crossing the Bridge" - Sixth Crossing Juried Exhibit - Hygienic - April.

Crossing Over (Paula) - as in her earthbound Spirit (ghost) walking into the Light (to become an Angel in Heaven.)

The "bridge" leads to Heaven - clouds, ethereal. It's a portal, a gateway to Heaven.

The pine tree grounds it in reality and is a prelude to: "Pachelbel Pine" (BACKYARD SCENES) - up and coming in April 201. (for my next Project - but I'm not going to tell you yet!)

The left side: grounded in reality.
Past the bridge: - Bright sun (the Light)
- Distant horizons
- Clouds!

For more info, go to:



"Love was untrustworthy, a changeable emotion suited to poets with short memories and a fickle sense of fidelity.  No, she wanted stability and the kind of deep, wordless connection that stretched over good times and bad, through boredom and strife. Not love."

(FROM: "2000 Kisses," by Christina Skye. Who lives on the western slopes of the McDowell Mountains in Arizona. for more info, go to:

For more info on the Desert Southwest, check out THE SINGLE MOM OF CACTUS COUNTY, coming soon to

Another four-letter word: WORK.
Being in a loving, stable relationship takes work. The Right One won't always tell you what you want to hear. Why don't you read the writing on the wall? Why don't you wake up and smell the coffee? Why don't you trust the one who has your back and that of your loved ones? What? Saying something you don't want to hear? Then...Why don't YOU step outside that lens, my friend? And capsize, with all the lies, that YOU'VE been living in???...* * * :)

(Denise...Denise Dances...2011)