Sun Series #1

Sun Series #1

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Road Trip to Ashtabula Art Center

Today my book group took a road trip to Ashtabula where we went to see the quilt exhibit that one of our members was having at the Ashtabula Art Center.  The art center was a beautiful setting for Karen Hinkle's quilts.  It was a solo exhibit and showed the great variety of techniques and materials that Karen works with.

The piece to the left is a quilt in two layers.  The back layer is a photograph Karen took printed on cotton sateen and is machine quilted.  The front layer is the same print on silk but it has been reversed.  There is no quilting on this layer and it hangs about a foot away from the quilted layer.

There is so much depth in the piece.  This picture does not do it justice.  The silk layer gently swayed in the air as we walked by it.
Karen Hinkle
We were fortunate to have Karen with us to give us a personal guided tour of her work.  She gave us insights into her working process and generously shared her techniques with us.

Of course, any road trip includes a stop for lunch.  The BBQ restaurant we chose was across the street from a small chocolate shop, so we found dessert there and snacks for the trip home.

Thanks for the tour, Karen!
Thanks also to my very diverse and interesting book club for the great trip on a cold January day!

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Facebook Art Challenge

In Her Shoes

For the past 4 days I have been posting on Facebook as part of the Facebook Art Challenge.  Once nominated, (Thanks Cathy Vigor!) you are asked to post 3 artworks each day for 5 days.  And then to nominate someone else each day to participate in the challenge.

This picture is one of my posts for today.  I am on day 4 with just tomorrow left.  It has been fun and inspiring to see what other artists are creating and to see the connections between the various artists who are posting. So many artists create in a variety of media.  I often am familiar with their main media, so it has been fun to see the range of work all of these talented people are working in.

I am not a big Facebook user, but I do like to see what others are up to from time to time.  If you haven't seen any of the work on Facebook in the 5 day art challenge, check it out!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Upcycle no. 3

Seven Up

This was a struggle and it shows.  The composition with my recycled painting was awkward to begin with.  I was trying to work with raised areas as well as that more flat area on the right.  I don't think it all came together for me.  I do like the stitching  in the white rectangle on the lower left and the use of wire which you can barely see in this photo.

There is always the question of whether one should abandon a work or see it through to the end. I chose to see it through and then to reveal it to the world!   Sometimes I need some distance and time away from the work to see what is going on and to see its value.  I think it remains to be seen if this piece stands up to the rest of the work in this crazy "Upcycled Series".

This piece is 6x6" and priced at $75 including shipping.  To purchase please email me.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dark and Light, Front and Back

I thought I could share the small pieces of the painting I cut up to use in my Upcycle series.
I don't have a picture of the original painting but as you can see it was dark.  Or perhaps I was dark!

These pieces are about 4 x 7 ".  I don't know why I chose that size.  It probably made sense at the time.  Then I added some collage elements, stitched on them both with the machine and by hand.  On some I added oil crayon markings and shapes.

The bottom photo is the back side of the pieces with more collage, drawing and coloring.
So, why do I continuously work on both sides of the page?  (See my Farmscapes which are also two-sided.)

I think it has something to do with the stitching which makes a mark on the backside as well as the front.  I find those marks intriguing on the blank side of the paper/canvas.  It offers me a whole other surface to respond to.

When I was in graduate school, several people commented on the backside of my fabric pieces, finding them interesting on their own.  Actually, I think some of the people, professors especially, liked the back of the work better than the front!

So I have made an effort to think about this side/surface, although I have never been able to leave it alone....meaning just go with the stitching without adding anything else.  Perhaps that would be a good challenge for a series of small pieces.  And I think you can look forward to some of the pieces in the Upcycle series being light ones, using the backside of the work instead of the darker original painting side.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Importance of Layering and Transparency

Door and Window

Here is the second in my Upcycling Series where I am reinventing old acrylic paintings along with plaster, shellac, and encaustic paint.  I had a lot of fun stitching the canvases from my old paintings.  Finding a way to use them with these other mixed media elements has been a discovery.

I find that I am using plaster and sanding in the same way I use encaustic paint and a razor blade to scrape and excavate to underlying  layers.  The more I work and experiment the more I realize how important transparency and layering are to me and my process.

This piece is 6x6" and priced at $75 including shipping.  To purchase please email me.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Upcycling my Old Art!


Definition of upcycle:
-to reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original.

I have been making art for over 30 years and therefore have a lot of art...some of it good, some of it, not so much.  I have these acrylic paintings that I did in college which were okay, not great, but have some interesting areas.  About a year ago I decided to cut one of them up and stitch on the pieces, add some collage elements and some drawing.  I tried to find a way to display them as a group but the pieces no longer worked together.

While looking for something else in my studio, I came upon them and decided that I might be able to do something with them in this 6x6" format, so I cut the pieces down some more!  This one, titled "Ladder", incorporates the acrylic painting on canvas with collage elements, machine and hand stitching, plaster, shellac and encaustic paint.  "Ladder" seems to me to fit the definition of upcycle, reusing something discarded in order to elevate it to a better standing than the original.
At least I find it to be upcycled for the better.
Not sure what my art professor's opinion would be!

This piece is 6x6" and priced at $75 including shipping.  To purchase please email me.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Day Like Today

 It is rather gray and overcast today here on the farm.  We have lots of days like this in January and February.

The artwork on the left is another from my "Farmscapes" where I created a collage on both sides of the paper.  If you look at some of the major shapes and areas on the front you can find the matching shape or area on the opposite side of the artwork.

Example:  The square storm cloud on the top right on the front side is reflected in that same rectangular shape on the top left below.

The stitching outline that suggests a  house shape above is more complete and painted in on the bottom or back side of the work.

When I sell these I put a mat on both sides so the purchaser can easily turn the work around to display the other side.  They come matted but unframed.

This piece is 13x15" and priced at $135 including shipping.  To purchase email me.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Flying by the Seat of My Pants

January Study: Scissors
This piece is 20 x 20" and priced at $150 including shipping to the US.  To purchase please email me.

This is another piece where I am experimenting with materials that I don't normally use.  But how else can I grow if I stick with the tried and true?  This piece also has the "dreaded" bubble wrap in it along with plastic lace from a plastic table runner.  (Aside:  I bought this plastic table runner for the sole purpose of using it in my artwork.  My original intention was to ink it up and print with it or to use it as a stencil of some sort, which I have done.  I never thought I would incorporate it into an artwork!)

So flying by the seat of my pants I experimented with these plastic and disposable materials along with free form stitching, trying to draw with the sewing machine.  Clearly, I need more practice in this area.  But I think it has possibilities for me in future work, although I really prefer hand stitching in my work.  

In response to a conversation Lynn Digby ( and I are having on our blogs this piece, while a response to the materials and the process, was a struggle...a big one.  It is often beneficial to just play with materials and processes, but not always the most direct route to an end product.  I think that the media in which I work, mixed media collage and encaustic paint, sort of encourage the unpredictable.  And when I am not working with literal imagery the play becomes more important.  But it is not always easy, fun or without some measure of artistic pain.  But worth the effort for me.

Here is another example of work where I used the plastic table runner which I find to be more aesthetically pleasing.  I had a concept in mind, so I was driven by that.  There was some measure of play involved but I had a final product in mind, something that I wanted to convey.  The piece is entitled "Childhood Fears".  It is a collagraph print on fabric with chemical transfers, the plastic lace, a zipper and a tape measure.  

I invite you to join in our conversation.  I would love to know what you think about process and product.  Thanks, Lynn for your support and comments.  You are such an insightful viewer of art.  I learn so much from you.

Childhood Fears
18 x 20" collograph print on fabric, transfers, acrylic paint, found ephemera
This piece is priced at $105 including shipping to the US.  For purchase information please email me.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

It is Always About the Process...Always

When I don't know what to do in my studio I make a collage.
It is what I know best.  The collages on these days are not always wonderful, but they fulfill a need.
In this collage I was trying to use some materials that I don't normally work with,
like the bubble wrap.  It was also about the challenge to use a variety of materials that don't necessarily go together to make make something that seems to work together.
I like the irregular shape, but have mixed feelings about the rest of it.
Ultimately, it is about the process, the making of the work, that is important.

(fabrics, lace, bubble wrap, acrylic paint, needlepoint, burlap, stitching)

This piece is 18x19" and priced at $140 including shipping.  To purchase please email me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Adirondack Chair (front)

I like collage.
I like working in a series.
I like challenging myself to create work over an extended time period.

So in 2011 I made one two-sided collage each week that reflected the seasonal changes taking place on the farm where I live.  In the process I walked around the farm or noticed things I usually just passed over.  The results were 50 collages with artwork on both sides of the page.

The reason these developed into two-sided pieces was because I sewed fabric and paper onto one side which affected the opposite side. When I turned the paper over there were these cool shapes that I could respond to with other collaged elements and paint.  I also found that one side of      
Adirondack Chair (back)
each collage was lighter in color and sometimes in sentiment, than the opposite side.   It wasn't until I was a month or so into the series that I realized I had a presentation issue on my hands.  How does one display 2D works that have 2 sides.  As you saw in the post on Thursday, Jan. 8th one solution was to suspend them from the ceiling so that both sides could be viewed.  Currently I am selling them with both sides having a mat around them so one can simply turn the piece over, having two artworks for the price of one!

15 x 19" matted,  $135 includes shipping.

                 Click to buy on Etsy

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Soul of an Artwork


This piece is an outgrowth of what I learned from doing the "Sun Series" in December.  I wanted to make a larger piece that used the same techniques of layering and sanding, using plaster and shellac along with my other mixed media materials.  I quit counting the number  of layers once I realized how often I was adding layers of gesso, shellac, and plaster that I  just ended up sanding away.  Part of what I like about working like this is the unexpected things that happen along the way.  It is what I call the "soul" or the "history" of the work.  There is so much buried in this piece that no one can see but that affects the final outcome.  It resonates with a depth that I can only refer to as an artwork's soul.

"Winterscape":  11 x 14" on a cradled board, ready to hang.  $225 including shipping.

For purchase information, please email me.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

What Does it Mean to Work in Series

I often work in a series.  I like the idea of making works that relate to each other in some way.  How they relate is often up to interpretation.  The "Sun Series" I started this blog with were easily related by the size of the format, the use of the sun imagery, and sometimes by color.  In the weekly studies I have been posting it might be harder to see the "series".  It is most evident in the size of the pieces, the fact that the small collages float inside the framework, and that they are mixed media collage.  But there is no imagery or content that easily carries the idea of series.  Al least that is the way many might see it.  As the artist, they relate for me for all of the above reasons and in the fact they are experimental works in collage and that they each have part of a calendar in them relating them to a day of the week.

Working in a series is important to me as I can see what is developing in terms of ideas, materials, imagery, colors and techniques.  One piece leads to the ideas for another.  Sometimes they are clearly related.  Other times, not so they often take on a life of their own.

I have photographed the one week of collage studies I have been doing in various arrangements.  It was harder to put them together in small groupings that worked together than when I photographed the "Sun Series" because I did not think about color and relationship as much as I did in the Sun Series.
I was out for just plain experimentation and fun.  So you can decide if these work as a series for you or not.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday...the Best Day of the Week!

Saturday's Study

Without realizing it I returned to the sun imagery I used in the"Sun Series" I started my blog with in December.  This collage of a blue sun is reflective of the kind of January Saturday we are experiencing in Ohio.  My intention with creating these small collages was to work small and often.  They are rewarding in that something is accomplished quickly.
And why is Saturday the best day of the week, you might ask.  Because that is the only day that I do not have a predetermined morning schedule, allowing me to read or bake something or sleep late or all of the above.

This piece is 6x6" and priced at $35, including shipping.  To purchase please email me.

Friday, January 16, 2015

That Two Inches Can Make a Difference!

Friday's Study

My week of doing small collage studies is coming to an end with only a Saturday study remaining.
While the mixed media paintings in the Sun Series I did were also small at 6x6",
I found the 4x4" size of these collages to be a lot more challenging.
 I didn't think that 2 inches would make much of a difference.
But it really did for me.  I found the 4x4" surface kind of inhibiting and often confining.
There just wasn't as much space to work with and it really affected
the size of the collage papers I could chose from.
I did manage to use some large lettering in this piece which I think works.
The strength of the red zipper helps to balance that out.
These exercises have helped me appreciate intimate works that I see other artists doing!

This piece is 6x6" and priced at $35 including shipping.  For purchase information please email me.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

More Warm-Up Exercises!Thursday's Study

Thursday's Study

This is another in the small weekly studies I have been doing.
I am thinking about these as warm-up exercises for some larger and more in-depth works.
The artwork is 4x4" and floats inside of the back of a cradled board.
The techniques/materials include collage with found papers, acrylic and water color paints.
pen and ink, shellac, and stitching.

This piece is priced at $35 and includes free shipping to the US.  To purchase or for information on shipping to other areas please email me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

More From the Farmscape Series: April's Promise


Is it too early to think about April?          
When it is 9 degrees out and you are shoveling snow, I don't think it's too soon to remember  the promise of new greenery, budding flowers, and sunny skies.
So here is a glimpse of the spring to come.

This piece is 11x15" and comes matted making it 15x19". 
There is another artwork on the back which is also matted so you get two artworks for the price of one.  It is priced at $135 and includes free shipping in the US.
For purchase info or for shipping costs to other countries email me.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Remembering October on this Snowy January Day

Since I just installed a collection of my Farm-
 scapes and posted about them a few days ago, I thought I would take the time to show some close-ups of a few of these over the next few days.

This one is from the first week of October.
Each of the Farmscapes is two-sided, meaning there is a complete artwork on each side.  I am selling them with a mat on each side so the buyer can easily turn the artwork over and view the other side.
So here is the reverse side of the above piece.      
What I really had fun with when making these
was responding to the stitching on each side which informed the collaging and painting.

Each collage is 11 x 15" without the mat and
15 x 19" matted.  They are unframed so you can
select framing that suits your own tastes.

                Click to buy on Etsy

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Wednesday's Study

Wednesday's Study (SOLD)

I guess I was feeling lighter and brighter on Wednesday.
The work is layered with collage, paint, shellac and sanding between coats.
4x4 inch artwork floating inside of a 6x6" cradled board.

Friday, January 9, 2015

"I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today! '

Tuesday's Study

Okay, so I didn't get it posted on Tuesday, but here is the piece I made on Tuesday.
It is a small 4x4" collage inside of a 6x6" cradled board.
The work is raised and floats inside of the frame.
These are fun and allowing me to experiment a bit with media and process.

This work is priced at $35 and includes free shipping in the US.  To purchase or for shipping costs to other countries please email me.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Judging Art & Installing Art

I have been away from the computer and from my studio the past few days judging the Scholastic Art Awards for area junior and high school art students and installing some of my own artwork in an exhibit.  
It was my privilege to see and judge the fine works that art students are doing.  I went away from the experience both inspired and applauding the work of these students and their teachers. 
Today I spent time installing a collection of my "Farmscapes" at Riverwood Chapel in Kent.  I haven't seen the work displayed like this for a while so it was fun to revisit the pieces and take stock of the work again.  Because the pieces are two-sided suspending them from the ceiling allows the viewer to take in both sides.  I thank the people at Riverwood for the opportunity and their help in the installation which will be on view for about a month.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Monday's Study

Monday's Study

While this overall is 6x6" , the working area for the art is 4x4".  That is small!
I didn't think working this small compared to 6x6" would be a big deal, but it is!
And photographing these is also problematic.  I want to show the depth and the shadows and am not sure I achieved that .
The art work sits inside the framework and is raised from the surface so that it kind of floats in space.
But I like the idea of art that is floating inside of an enclosed area.
It suggests an intimacy and a preciousness because of its size.

This piece is priced at $35 and includes free shipping to the US.  To purchase or for shipping costs to other countries please email me.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Yikes...A New Year and Already Behind!

Sunday's Study

We all know that the new year is time for resolutions and new beginnings.  And usually I am on top of this, at least for a week or so.  But I got blind-sided and have not been in the studio until yesterday, which was Sunday.  So even though I am posting this on Monday, I did make it yesterday...on Sunday.
I want to spend some time making a few small artworks before I dive into a new body of work.
I think these small collages are what I need right now.  Working small is rewarding but also challenging.  Small pieces give me some immediate gratification because they can be completed in a short amount of time.  But the down side, at least for me, is that the plane on which I am working is really small.  In this case the working space is 4x4", the inside of the back of the cradled boards I have been using.  Those of you who know my work, know that I like to put things in boxes, so the boxlike back of the cradled board is a natural space for me.  The collage is raised and seems to float inside of the space.
As always I welcome your comments!

This piece is priced at $35 and includes free shipping in the US.  To purchase or for shipping costs to other countries please email me.