Sun Series #1

Sun Series #1

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.


  1. I really like these, Clare. (The top one looks like a 6 x 6" drawing I did.) But, aside from that I like the buildup of wax that even in the picture seems tactile.

  2. I've had the frame with the wax in it sitting around my studio for a couple of years. The cocoons with it is a good marriage. And Im flattered that something I did looks like one of your sensitive drawings.

  3. I've been thinking about using the tea bags. Here it seems so natural in that a tea bag is an organic and disposable object. Those characteristics of a tea bag along with the way you have shaped them in the piece seem to naturally suggest the organic and ephemeral nature of a chrysalis. I think the use of the tea bags was interesting in the 6 degrees of separation piece also, in that it paired the disposable tea bag with a picture, which is usually something that we keep, hold on to, and even treasure. I think it works because while we may hold on to a picture of someone long after we have a relationship with that person ( for any number of reasons) there is a tension between the memory of that person and our present reality. Also, in titling the piece "Six degrees of separation" it causes the viewer to think about the fragile way we are connected with each other. In that our relationships can be fragile as the tea bags are fragile.

  4. All of those tea associations you wrote about are so well stated. At the Hedge opening the other night where people saw the tea bag portraits, some of those same kinds of ideas were mentioned. Tea does have a lot of ideas and emotions connected with it, and in several cultures. I like your comment about fragility in reference to the way the tea bags look and the idea of relationships. You have given me even more to think about. I would love to see what you decide to do with the tea bags.
    PS. It was also important to me to use tea bags that had been used as opposed to clean new bags or purchased tea bag papers (you can buy them online!), not only for the staining quality but because that seemed to be a greater connection between people and tea and emotional qualities such as fragility, memory, safe-keeping, etc.