Sun Series #1

Sun Series #1

Friday, December 8, 2017

Mining the Sketchbook

"Mining the Sketchbook no. 1:  Balance"
25 x 16"
mixed media collage on paper

The other day I was looking for something in the cupboard where I keep my sketchbooks.
I don't remember what I was looking for, but before I knew it I was lost in going through my sketchbooks and thinking about ideas that never came to fruition, ideas that shouldn't ever be realized and noticing common themes in the drawings, ideas, and notes over the years.

This brought me to reviewing works that I did make from either the drawings or notes,
still recognizing common themes.
From that I began this work about aspects of balance.
There are some new additions to what I found in the sketchbook but the theme was definitely in the dress drawing on the top left and the dress and scales on the bottom of the work. The elephant and the man balancing on the high wire are new more concrete references to balance.

I was thinking about these two separate pages as if they were sketchbook pages but with a little more finesse.
While the writing or quotes weren't in my sketchbook,
I feel they reflect more directly the ideas surrounding balance, both in my work and my thought process.
Even the way the two pages are composed, one in its proper orientation and one on its side, are about balance. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Award Winning Art!

"Six Degrees of Separation"
mixed media: portraits on tea bags

Just got a Second Place award for this work...100 tea bags with portraits addressing the idea of how close
 we all are to each other whether we realize it or not.
Thanks MassMu!

The work in the show is diverse in media and execution.
It is up until January 31, 2018.
Check it out!

Massillon Museum
121 Lincoln Way East
Massillon OH

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Photocopies, Bleached Paper, and Remnants

Almost Daily Collages
mixed media on paper

On my work table in my studio I have this tray of papers and materials that I have working from for the past several months
From time to time I add more bits and pieces.
I enjoy sifting through these remnants, seeing what I can do with them.
Often the work is sparked by the new additions, but the pieces on the bottom of the pile also
hold some fodder for inspiration.

For these two pieces I spied, not in the tray but laying on top of my printer, an accordion fold book I had made
comprised of rusted and stained papers with some leaves attached.  I decided to photocopy it and work with what I got.
This was the new addition to that day's work.
It is amazing how the photocopied image in black and white took on another persona.
 (If leaves and stitching on paper can have a persona.)

The light marks on the black paper in the bottom piece were made by bleaching the paper.
That particular piece has been the tray of materials for months. And I am pretty sure I made it 2 years ago
as an example of bleaching for a class I was going to teach.
There wasn't much of it.
But I knew I shouldn't / couldn't throw it out.
Glad I had it in that pile of collage materials.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


I can't help but look around the beautiful farm I live on and feel thankful .
My life is full.
I have wonderful family and friends.
I am able to spend time making my work whether that take the form of gardening, cooking or collage.
And I have supporters who read this blog, purchase my art, take the classes I teach,
encourage me when I am stuck and are just plain present in my life.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Weight of Words


             Those of you who know me know that I am the least likely person to be censored.
People often tell me that some of my work has an edginess to it or that it strikes a sad or emotional note.  But it does not come off as offensive.

              But...I was recently accepted to an exhibit only to be told before the show opened that the words in the work were inappropriate for that venue.  They were very gracious about it and adamant that my work be included if I could some way remove the words or change the words or cover the words.  The concept centered on name calling, bullying and the kind of words that cause emotional pain.  The ethereal and innocent look of the piece belied the words the viewer confronted when coming in for a closer look.  It had an impact.  It was powerful.

The piece had been exhibited several other times without the censorship I now faced. I do understand that the appropriateness of the work is subject to the venue and the kinds of clientele that will see the work.  I had a short time in which to decide what I would do.
                                      Should I just pull the work from the show and be done with it?
                                 What kind of change can I make without changing the original intent?
                                          Am I caving in or am I compromising?
                                               Do I even want to compromise?

I talked with my husband who also is an artist.  I talked with another artist friend who is familiar with me, my work and my philosophy about making work.  If I change the work have I lost the initial powerful piece?  Can I substitute other words that will still convey my intent and cause the viewer to think about words that are damaging, hurtful and can't be unheard?

                In the end I did find a compromise.  I substituted words that addressed the emotions one might feel when being called names instead of using the actual offensive words.  Because the words were attached to the larger part of the work and could be removed I did not undermine the major part of the work.  The new words replaced the original one and I now have two works that address this issue.  I feel the piece lost some of its impact but it still causes the viewer to think about the name calling,  bullying and the hurt that verbal abuse can cause.

              I feel okay with my decision to compromise because the message is still out there.
                               I am wearing my censorship as a kind of badge of honor
                                            ever conscious of the weight of words.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Visit the Christkindl Markt Nov. 10-12!

"Child's Play"
mixed media collage
13 x 10"  framed  $110

I will be at the Christkindl Markt selling my work Nov. 10-12!
I wasn't there last year so I am looking forward to being a part of this Fine Art Fair this time around.
This is an annual holiday tradition in Canton Ohio at the
Cultural Art Center located at
1001 Market Avenue.
Fri. Nov. 10...10am-6pm
Sat. Nov. 11...10am-6pm
Sun. Nov. 12...11am-4pm

Stop by and see me and what I have been making.
Here are a few examples to wet your appetite.
Hope to see you there!

"Flower Girl"
mixed media collage
12 x 9"  framed  $200

Daily Collage
mixed media
5x8"  unframed  $15

Daily Collage
mixed media
5x8"  unframed  $15

See more on my website!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Defining Anonymous

"Defining Anonymous"
mixed media sculpture

This is the fourth and last piece in my Anonymous Series.  Not for lack of ideas or way  to continue but because this body of work hinges on that blue and white quilt which has very little left to give.
In this work I was grappling with the ideas of identity.
Identity of unknown quilt makers.
Identity of quilts that were unsigned, undated.
And the transience of identity when one thing becomes another thing.

Initially a blue quilt that I owned made by an unknown woman (most probably a woman) was deconstructed and remade into an object that was more akin to a collage or painting.  A work that hung on the wall.  While I am more than aware of the 1970's installation of Amish quilts that were hung in an art gallery in New York City creating the first public awareness of "quilt as art object", my intention was to go beyond that concept.  To create a work that used a quilt, or parts of a quilt, both front and back, inside and outside as collage material for a 2D work that would be more related to painting than quilt.
Changing the identity of quilt as functional bed covering to an identity more closely aligned with painting.

There are three of these quilt-become-paintings in the series.
(See March 3, March 12 and March 25 posts to view this work)
While they definitely read, to me at least, more as a painting object, their quilt-ness is still quite prevalent.
My intention was not to delete their relationship to quilt but to distill it into an unexpected form.
The next step seemed to be to make the work sculptural.

There is a solidity to "Defining Anonymous" that is not present in the previous three pieces.
As a sculpture it inhabits 3D space, as it's presence reaches out away from the wall.
It is solid and heavy.
It has an interior that is both inviting and mysterious.
There is a strong reference to quilt in the folds and the way it seems to still want to be a functional object.
Yet there is a strength of character, if you will, that transcends the ideas one associates with quilt.

Have I changed this blue quilt's identity in this work or the previous three pieces
enough to go beyond the functional, traditional notion of a quilt?
Or have I just reinforced the true nature of a quilt that offers /suggests comfort, home, tradition.

For me the transience of identity is in the change from traditional functional bed covering to three
dimensional wall sculpture that certainly references the blue quilt's past, suggesting comfort and perhaps
an essence of memory but establishing its own character as an art object.

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