Sun Series #1

Sun Series #1

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Promise of Spring

From the Farmscape Series:  April Week 3

With all of this snow and cold, cold weather, I am looking forward to weeks like this one...warmer weather, warm colors,  grass growing (even though I know I will eventually have to mow it), the promise of fruit on the vines,
 and even dandelions!
This piece is from the Farmscape series I did a few years ago, where I made one 2-sided collage each week throughout the year.  They were all mixed media works with fabrics, paper, stitching, and paint.  This one even incorporates a found piece of cross stitching.  As I made each collage I would take a walk around the farm or look at my gardens for inspiration.
The colors in the work pictured here reflect what I saw that week as I worked on the collage.
It is good to look at this piece and know that the promise of spring is out there!

This piece measures 11x15" and comes matted to 15x19", unframed and is priced at $135 with free shipping!
As with all of the Farmscapes they are 2-sided so there is another work on the back!!  A deal for you.
For purchase information email me.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Power of the Subconscious

Sticks and Stones

I resonate with the title "Sticks and Stones" on many levels.  The natural elements evoke landscapes, memories of childhood play,  and the saying: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me".   Here we have physical sticks and stones with the very tentative nod to the saying recognized by the script that connects the 2 pieces.  The script is  nonsensical, more like notations or shorthand, not the actual words of the childhood chant.  It is just as I am writing this that I see the script as that reference to childhood and the sometimes cruel nature of play.
When I was working on the piece the script was just an element to connect the pieces, not something meaningful that is suggested by the saying "Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me".  Another example of the way in which my work makes itself know subtly and subconsciously.
(By the way, I do not believe the part of the saying about words never causing harm.)

I think these 2 pieces must sell together.  They measure 6x12" and are priced at $125 including shipping.
For purchase information, please email me.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek
11 x 14" mixed media collage on board

This piece took a lot longer than I expected.  I got stuck.  I created a background with collage elements and plaster that I liked and didn't quite know where to take it.  There were certain aspects of the background that I didn't want to lose.  But as in much of my work, I had to do some give and take.  By letting go of certain background features I gained some new areas of interest.  The addition of the white encaustic paint added depth to the surface which I like.  It helps push some of the imagery further into the background, making sense with the title.

This piece is 11 x 14" and priced at $225 including shipping to the US.  For purchase information email me.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

All Over the Place!

on view at Butler Area Artists Exhibit Feb. 22-Mar. 29, 2015
Butler Institute of Art in Youngstown OH

When I started this blog I thought it would be a journal of the new small works I wanted to concentrate on.
But I am finding that my writing, journalling and documenting is like my artwork.  I get distracted by other materials to try out, shows I want to enter, exhibit opportunities I am invited to participate in.
The term "mixed media" extends to all aspects of my life.

Chrysali is a continuation of my work with tea bags.
(Tea bags are small, right, so in that regard I am working small.)
I made a number of pods or cocoons from the tea bags and they developed into this work.  To be honest, the frame structure, wrapped branches and wax were from an older attempt at an artwork that never really went anywhere.  I laid the cocoons on the branches and they seemed to complete each other.  I like the fact that this use of materials and arrangement reflect what goes on in nature but is not totally literal.  Having made a number of cocoons before these 3 found their "home" I am now in search of a home for the rest of the cocoons.  What I am struggling with is how to achieve the same reference to nature and maintain that not quite literal quality.

All in all I guess I had better change the description of my blog to reflect that I am really recording that I am
"all over the place" with my work!
Stay tuned for "All Over the Place" part two.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tangible Objects / Concrete Shadows

Ancestral Vessels (detail)
Ancestral Vessels

This is one of the pieces that will be in the "Process + Materials" Show at Hedge Gallery on West 78th Street in Cleveland this Friday.  The reception is from 5-9:00 and should be a good showing of artwork by
15 different artists.

"Ancestral Vessels" are silk organza vessels with transfers of vintage photos of people, some of whom are my actual ancestors and others who are 'faux' ancestors, meaning I found the photos at a flea market
or antique store.
I like the concept of capturing personal history on a tangible object like a box or vessel.  It makes the idea of memory more concrete.  The light weight vessels are positioned on a clear acrylic shelf.  In order to stabilize the vessels I added some small stones inside and around the objects.  The thing that surprised me about this work when it was installed is the way the shadows made such an impact, adding a dimension to the work that, for me, further references the idea of history and memory.  This is another way in which the artwork speaks to me, doing its own thing and making the work relevant in unexpected ways.

I've thought about doing some artwork with those shadows, but I don't think anything I can do would do them justice.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Process + Material = Content

Process and materials are closely aligned for me in my art practice.

I feel they are deeply connected to the communication of the ideas I want to convey.  My work is meant to reveal through its use of fabric, collage, and found ephemera references to the human condition which can be sometimes quite personal and at other times more universal, yet almost always a revelation.

Studio practices are very personal.  I am process driven.  I know how to work with a variety of processes and am always learning more.  I see this aspect of process in my everyday life.  I like to cook and garden, making all of these tasks into another form of process + materials.  

As a student I was happiest if the report I had to do included some kind of artwork to go with it.  As a teacher I was most effective when assigning projects that caused students to engage with their materials to produce work with strong content.  And now as as a working artist I find process + materials to be the driving force of my work allowing me to arrive at an end product where materiality is a driving force of the process.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Six Degrees of Separation

Six Degrees of Separation

I am in the "Process + Material" exhibit at Hedge Gallery in Cleveland Ohio that opens this Friday.
One of my entries is the above work consisting of 95 tea bags which contain portraits that have been transferred to them.  The tea bags are used and therefore stained with a great patina.

Six degrees of separation is the theory that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of "a friend of a friend" statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.
(definition from Wikipedia)
Take a close look...maybe you will see someone you know!

For more information on the exhibit: #process+material

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Street of Doors

Back Alley Doors
Part f the Upcycle Series

Here are the the three pieces from the Upcycle series that I feel read together well.
I lined up the base lines to create a sort of street view.
I really like the way the street lines up but I'm not sure about the empty spaces above and below.

They looked better in the studio than they do in this photo.
Maybe they just need more space around them than is visible in this photo.
What do you think?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Very Mixed Media

Window Curtain
From the Upcycle Series

This is the last piece in the Upcycle Series that will reference back alleys and doorways.
There are no other pieces of the old acrylic painting that I am recycling with  shapes on them that ft this theme.
I could have called this "Duplex" or Awning" but I like the white shape on the right that looks like a curtain blowing out of an open window.  It has been fun to play with the shapes that were already established and to find a way to work with them.

The original painting in this piece was mostly black.
I wanted to distinguish the door shape on the right from the rest of the piece, using red over the black to do that.  Along with the acrylic painting that I started with I also use craypas, water color, shellac, and closed pencil.
So very mixed media, which is what I do.
It works for me to be able to combine lots of media to work though an artistic challenge.

This piece is 6x6" priced at $75 including shipping to the US.  For purchase information, email me.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Always a Fiber Artist!

Quilt Patches & Yarn Balls     2012
14 x 16 x .75"

Since I have been showing small works that incorporate plaster / joint compound and
encaustic paint, I thought I would show an older work that used those materials.
I used the reverse side of a cradled board and built the top surface and small openings using
foam core and mat board.
I am a fan of deteriorating walls and find beauty in those layers that reveal what is below
the surface of an exterior.
There is a certain tension created by inserting soft objects into the rough and worn wall like structure.
Both the objects inserted and the outer wall have texture but in contrast to each other.
Just as the colors inside are in high contrast to the white outer wall.

Somehow I often find a way to incorporate fiber into my artwork.
Once a fiber artist, always a fiber artist.
At least that is true for me!

This piece is 14x16x.75" and is priced at $225 including shipping to the US.  For purchase information please  email me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Return to Doors

Back Alley
Part of the Upcycle Series

When I first started making quilts in the late 1980's and 90's windows and doors
were a large part of the imagery I used.

I have always liked the geometry that these architectural elements present.
Their visual impact carries a lot of emotional, social and sometimes cultural connotations.
Doors allude to the ideas of openings and closures, entrance and exclusion.

What kind of place is this with its dark exterior and crooked door?
Do I want to enter or stay out?
Is it day or night?
There is something both lovely and rich about the colors.
It is artistic intuition at its best.
I really like this one!

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

Monday, February 9, 2015

Letting the Work Speak to Me

Planar Analysis
Part of the Upcycle Series

This is what developed from the "before" picture I posted on February 6th.
It certainly took a different path than I thought it would!
There is a lot of history here, meaning that I really worked to get to this point.
And almost everything that was in the original piece of the old painting I was upcycling
got buried.  The only recognizable remaining part is the rectangle in the upper left corner.
In the original that rectangle was on the bottom left, so even the final orientation is different as well.

Below is a reminder of what the work looked like when I started.
Sometimes I just have to let go and allow the work do the talking.
This piece said "I do not want to be about small triangles."
Over all the final piece is a good example of letting intuition have its say.

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

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Down Memory Lane

From the Collage-a-Day Series:  Boys and Girls

In 2005 I made one collage everyday for a year.
These pieces measure 5.5 x 8" and are mixed media collages.
Each one had a piece of a journal I had found at a flea market and was stamped with the date
using one of those stamping devices that they used to use when you check out your library books.
I am showing my age here!

I did not miss a day but promised my self that if I did there would be a blank 5.5 x 8" card in its place.
I also would not allow myself to work ahead or work behind.  The pieces had to be done that day.
During that year I drove to Wyoming for a residency and checked into motels along the way with my very small bag of clothing, toothbrush, etc. and a large box of collage "stuff".
I also got married in June and made a collage that day.
So you could say I was driven not to have that blank card show up!

These pieces are on my Etsy site and selling for just $5.00.
I keep adding pieces every few weeks.
They are unframed but can easily be mounted and framed to your own tastes.

Visit My Etsy Shop

Friday, February 6, 2015

One Light & One Dark

This is the beginning of two new Upcycle pieces.
So I am showing the "before" images.  They are mounted to their 6x6" cradled boards, ready to go.

Sometimes it is good to work on two pieces at once.  It gives me thinking time and helps me not rush the process.  I get impatient and have been known to sand or scrape before layers are dry, which is totally counterproductive.

These pieces might take me longer to get to as I am preparing for two exhibits that will open in a week or so.  That means I will be spending time in the studio finishing the pieces for the shows.  One of the works is the nine small works in the "Sun Series".  The artwork is done, but the edges need to be addresses/finished.

I used to be so good at making sure I totally finished a work, including edges, hanging devices, photographing, documenting, etc.  But for some reason I have neglected to keep up with some of these tasks which are just as important as the artwork.  That is the craftsmanship side of art making.

So my posting may be a bit less often this next week, but I will be sure to send images of the exhibits.  And of course, I will send the progress on these two which is light and one that is dark.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Getting There is Part of the Fun!

When in Rome...
Part of the Upcycle Series

In this series I have been working with an old acrylic painting, using sections of it and creating new works with those pieces.  Along with working small  (6x6") I have given myself some other challenges. I am
using plaster, shellac and encaustic paint trying to see how those
materials affect the work and how compatible (or not) they are together.

I have worked with encaustic paint for a number of years and like the way you can build up layers and scrape them away to reveal what is underneath.  I am finding that the plaster has similar properties.  I can apply it thickly or thinly and then sand, instead of scrape, to reveal the "soul" or history of the layers.

In the "Sun Series" I used lots of plaster along with the shellac.  Including the encaustic adds another dimension.
Now I have to consider when to apply each material as it is difficult to sand encaustic.
I like the depth that the encaustic creates and its transparency.
I like the crispness of the plaster.
I like the shellac for its ability to seal the layers and create a sense of luminosity.

The task is finding the correct balance between these materials that I really love using so I can create work that I think feels fresh and innovative.  As always I am looking for growth in my approach to mixed media.
I am not there yet, but getting there is part of the fun!

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

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

My Blue Door Studio

  Why haven't I been in the 

Because I have been shoveling snow....
Lots and lots of it.
For several days.
it keeps on coming.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Before and After/ Geometry and Whimsy

As promised here is the beginning of the next piece in the Upcylce series.  This is the backside of one of my old paintings and therefore the "before" picture.  I added some collage elements, some stitching and a bit of color.  The blank band at the top is the board showing as the painting section I had does not fill the whole 6x6" board.

From here I worked with color, shellac, plaster and encaustic, building up the surface until I was satisfied.  My whole focus in this group of works is to create surfaces that look aged  and layered.
Sometimes the changes until I reach the end product are rather subtle, but the end is achieved through lots of layering
In the final version  on the right you see that the main shapes have been retained, but the colors and textures are more developed.  I extended the shapes from the painting in the larger lower section into the top empty area.

I found that curved area on the lower right corner to be hard to work with, although I really loved that part of the work initially.
My goal was to create a balance between what was in the original canvas and what I wanted to do with plaster and encaustic.  Some elements got lost but when I added that section of raised plaster created by screening the plaster through a stencil doily I found what I was looking for...a balance between geometric shape and organic whimsy.

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

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Little Left of Center

Left of Center
More from the Upcycle Series

I received a comment when I posted some of the cut up painting pieces that the light side of the old painting was more interesting because the stitching was more apparent.  I think that each side has its own visual impact.  That is why I had such a hard time figuring out what to do with them originally.  I like both sides and wanted them both to be viewed.  But sometimes you just have to let go of an idea and let the art work have its say.  So now, in this series, I am using the pieces and only one side will be seen.

In this work I started with the lighter side of one of the pieces.  As you can see it didn't stay as light as it was originally.  I should have taken a before picture and will do so with the next light one. But when sitting next to one of the darker Upcycle pieces it is still light.  Although keeping it light is not one of my objectives.  I am more interested in making an interesting small work with textures and and nuances of the surface that was inspired by the cut up acrylic painting that i did so many years ago.

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