Sun Series #1

Sun Series #1

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Measuring Up

Good Girl/Bad Girl

For me a ruler or tape measure has always referenced the idea of measuring up...
meeting up to  someone's expectations.
The dress that is framed by the ruler pieces is half white and half dark,
representing the good and evil that is in all of us.



This small mixed media work incorporates some found metal pieces along with upholstery tacks.
I love upholstery tacks!  They are both beautiful and useful.
That ring on top came from the same going-out-of-business fabric store where I got the large zipper pulls
 (see the post on 3/26/15).
This is one of the smaller works that I am multi-tasking with while doing the more labor intensive sewing on the white pieces from the "Variations on a Theme" series.
A girl has got to keep busy!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Cheating...Yes or No?

Variations on a Theme no. 3

More light colored work, although a little bit of pink crept in, some of it from the staining on the tea bag I used and some from my watercolor brush.   I've had this doily for a long time and love it but could never find a way to use it.
Glad it became the star of this piece.  I do have a few more of them. They were all individual pieces but the raw edges tell me that they must have been part of something else at one time.
So am I cheating by using a bit of color and some black here and there for contrast?
My goal was to make white/light colored pieces without much color.
And to use the materials I have without purchasing new items.
So what do you think?  Am I a cheater?!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Large Zipper Pulls!

Variations on a Theme no. 2

More white, this time with fabric and lace that has plaster added to it.
I love the large zipper pulls that I scored at a fabric store that was going out of business.
Returning to white and sewing materials is in my comfort zone along with the rectangular format.  I have to say that working in a square is more of a challenge for me since much of my work is vertical and rectangular. So I am enjoying having a bit more space and working with a rectangle again.

This work is 8x10" mixed media collage on paper mounted on a cradled board.
It is priced at $110 with free shipping in the US.
To purchase, please visit my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cleansing My Palette

Variations on a Theme no.1

I have heard some artists, painters mostly, say that they often like to "cleanse their palette" by taking away all of the color and working in just black and white.  I think it might be time for me to do that in my collages.  I have long been attracted to collages with lots of white or light shades in them.  There was a show a number of years ago that I saw on line, not in person, where the theme of the show was artworks in white.

So I am going there for awhile...working with white/light fabrics, papers and ephemera.
I have gathered together a pile of materials and want to work from those with our purchasing new materials.
The challenge for me will be to grow in my collage work while working with the light palette.

This work is 8x10" mixed media collage on a board ready to hang without any framing.
It is priced at $110 with free shipping in the US.  To purchase, please visit my Etsy shop.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Backbone of My Work

Two Park Benches

Final collage in the Chairs of Paris Series!  That doesn't necessarily mean you won't see chairs again, but for right now I am done with chairs and benches, flea markets and antique shops.

I find that I often return to my past artworks for inspiration or for source material for new work, as I did in this series.
Doing this adds an authenticity to what I do.  While I enjoy looking at the work of others, visiting art galleries and shows, viewing Pinterest and Etsy, I know myself and that I can get easily distracted  by the great variety of work in these places.  I see people working with techniques I'd like to try and materials I wish to use.  One of my art goals for this year is to remain true to myself.  I know I have posted some things that are somewhat like me and my work, but also me experimenting with someone else's style, technique, materials, etc.
But I almost always return to what I call the backbone of my work...imagery of some sort, collage and encaustic.
I work better and more authentically when I have a "image to hang my hat on" (as Jim Dine said) and/or a concept from which I can work.
I need to remind myself of that from time to time.

This piece is 6x6" mixed media collage on a board with encaustic.  It is ready to hang and requires no framing.
It is priced at $75 with free shipping in the US.  To purchase, visit my Etsy shop. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Green Chairs and Blue Shutters

Mixed media collage on board using a photocopy of an original collage with colored pencil and
some transparent papers added.  I love the inaccuracies I get when I collage elements that are of incorrect proportions or sizes.  Like these large urns with the thin legged chairs.

This work is 6x6" on a board and ready to hang.  It requires no dreaming.
To purchase, please visit my Etsy shop.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Essence of a Flea Market

Pink Velvet Seats

There is always so much to look at when one visits a flea market, no matter where it is located.   I get easily distracted by the variety of objects, colors, and arrangements that I see.  It is similar to the way I view an art exhibit.  I want to run through the whole exhibit (or flea market) and see what is there.  Then go back through and see everything again, savoring and dwelling over the things  that really draw me in.
This collage is  an example of that phenomenon.  Chairs, umbrellas over cafe tables, and light posts all call to me in a compact area of the flea market.  There is an atmosphere created by outdoor flea markets that I tried to capture here.  Old yet alive.  Dark yet festive.  Casual and at the same time elegant.

 This is another mixed media collage from my Chairs of Paris series.  It is on a wooden panel with encaustic measuring 6x6" and priced at $75 with free shipping in the US.  To purchase, please visit my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Brown Chair and Bottle

Flea Markets and Antique shops are such an inspiration to me.
I love the crowded, random feel of these places.
Ancestral "stuff" along with the unexpected.

This piece is 6x6" on a cradled board, mixed media collage with free shipping in the US.
To purchase, visit my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Chair of a Different Sort

We are not in Paris anymore...or at least not for today's post.

I have been wanting to experiment with chalk paint and bought some a few years ago.  My first attempt with this was not very good.  In fact it was hideous.  I tried to live with it and just couldn't do it, so I did some research on how one works with chalk paint and that helped...a lot!

On the first attempt, I thought,
"Well I am an artist.
 I know how to layer paints.
I don't need to do any research"     So much for my ego.

On this attempt, I had better results; not perfect, but at least I like this outcome.
It involved 2 layers of chalk paint in 2 colors, some wax, a good deal of sanding, and a final
coat of a brown toned glaze.  I didn't follow all of the directions, substituting less expensive ingredients for the "official" wax and glazing.
Below is a photo of the place where the chair will live.
I have 2 more chairs I want to do that will also be in the kitchen with this chair.
And this is probably way more than you want to know about me and my winter DIY projects.
But since I am on a chair kick with my posts, I thought I would share.

Monday, March 16, 2015

More Chair Obsession

Two Benches / Two Chairs

I love those small wooden folding chairs that were everywhere in Paris.
The bench in the distant background is also of the same style.
These collages remind me of the Spring weather that is just around the corner for Ohio.
Can't wait to get out my chairs and porch furniture and to see green grass again!!

This is 6x6" on board; mixed media collage with encaustic medium; priced at $75 with free shipping in the US.
To purchase, visit my Etsy shop.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Chairs and Music

Chairs of Paris:  Musical Chairs

Sometimes when I am at a flea market or antique shop I feel like I flit from one item to the next.  It is as if I am waiting for the music to stop and for me to land on something.  No, that wasn't it.  Then the music starts again and I hope I will land on something else, something better, something more intriguing, something totally unique.  But landing on something is the what it is all about.  Coming away with a win, just like being the last person in musical chairs, the one who gets the last chair.  Of course I was in Paris and knew that I couldn't come home with anything chair-size from the flea market...not in my budget.  So pictures of chairs and music is as close as I could get.

This piece is 6x6" on a cradled board and priced at $75 with free shipping in the US.
To purchase, visit my Etsy shop.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Remembering Paris

Chairs of Paris:  White

When we were in Paris, I loved the white French Provincial chairs that I saw so many places, especially in the flea markets.  It is fun to see what different regions and countries value and sell in their flea markets and antique shops.

This piece is 6x6" on a cradled board and features a copy of a collage I made with some new additions and encaustic paint.   I think the white encaustic around the edges gives a memory feel to the work.  It is priced at $75 with free shipping in the US.  It is ready to hang and does not require framing.  To purchase visit my Etsy shop.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Revisiting Paris

 The Chairs of Paris: Folding Chairs

A few years ago I was in Paris and took a lot of pictures.  When I got home and looked at the pictures I had taken, I saw that I had many pictures of the chairs and benches in Paris: in their flea markets and their parks.  This collage grew out of that experience.

This artwork incorporates a photocopy of an original collage I made along with other collage elements in fabric and paper.
Encaustic has been added to create a more luminous surface.
6x6" on a cradled board.  As always, I appreciate your comments.

This piece is priced at $75 and ships free to the US.  You can purchase this work through my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Kind of a Secret

Written on the Wind       6x6" on board

This mixed media collage was adhered to the wooden panel without any gesso so around the edges some of the grain of the wood shows.  Some of the painting was done using a mask to block out areas and save the underlying colors.  I also did some negative painting.  The four red floating shapes were painted on silk organza and collaged over top of the board.
I really love using the shorthand paper.  It has that calligraphic mark making quality that I like.  The other text on the left is from a music notebook and I think it is Italian.  I like that what is written is kind of a secret...only meant for someone who can read these marks.  The idea that it is "written on the wind" adds to the elusive and private quality of the work.

The piece is 6x6" on board and priced at $60 with free shipping in the US.  It can be purchased through Etsy.  Outside of the US?  Please convo me for a quote on shipping costs.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Surprise and Mystery

Leaf Tears         6x6" on board

The image here is pretty straightforward.  The technique is related to the layering I am interested in achieving.
The leaf that is printed on the paper with the text is collaged to the board along with a few other light colored papers.  The mark making on the right side was created using a wood burning tool...lots of fun.  The layers also contain tea bag papers, watercolor and acrylic.  I wanted to be sure to maintain or save the teardrops on the leaf so I used clear shellac on them to create a resist for the next layer of watercolor.  Some of the gold and red toned areas come from a piece of silk organza that was painted with watercolor.  The black thread is the final layer.  I am not sure if it is too contrasty or not.  I do like the tension created with the thread and the various implications that it suggests.

There is a richness that comes from creating many transparent layers that I am really drawn to.
There is  no way to directly paint the kinds of overlapping transparency that is in this piece without doing many layers.  Or at least I don't know how to do it.  There is both surprise and mystery that occurs when I allow myself to be playful and see where all of these transparent layers will lead me.

This piece is 6x6" on a board and priced at $60 with free shipping in the US.  You can find it on Etsy and convo me for shipping costs outside of the United States.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Realism or Abstraction?

Red With Thread      6x6" on board

Realism or abstraction?  What do I (or you) want to convey in an artwork?  Are these 2 disciplines so totally different from each other.  I guess it depends on who you talk to.  I think there are many connections between the two that allow one to explore creativity, offering new relationships and opportunities to get somewhere new in one's work.
Much of my work includes aspects of both traditions.  Sometimes more of one than the other.  Throw in that I like to sew, whether it is on fabric or paper, I am all in for experimenting with the contrasts and similarities that exist between the two.

This piece is 6x6" on board and priced at $60 with free shipping in the US.
Visit my Etsy shop to purchase.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Brown Study    6x6"

Returning to the 6x6" pieces on board.
 I feel good about this one.  Not heavy handed and true to myself as a mixed media artist.
There are raised areas and textures along with the variety of found papers, monotypes and original prints.

This piece is 6x6" on board and priced at $75 with free shipping in the US.  To purchase or for shipping to other countries  please email me at email me.
Or purchase through Etsy.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Less is More

Notations 2    6.25x7"

Sometimes I find it is good to just cleanse my palette and make something that is simple and clean.
This piece has the shorthand paper, music paper and some abstract markmaking  that for me reads like a code, another form of notation.
Often less is more; editing my work gives my creative process a chance to breath.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Getting Back on Track, I Hope!

Notations    5.5x6"

I wasn't happy with yesterday's work.  And it was "work".  This is better, but still not where I want it to be.  I found someone's music notebook with musical notations at a flea market and that was the starting point for this piece.
I have also been using a book of shorthand that I bought awhile ago.  I love how it looks and find it a mystery that anyone can read it.  My mom knew shorthand.  I even have some of her recipes with the ingredients listed in "english" and the directions for making the recipe in "shorthand".  Really, Mom?

This piece is on paper, layered with the music paper, shorthand paper and some staining and mark making.  I feel it is truer to how I work and who I am as an artist when it is compared to the garish heavy-handed piece from yesterday.
I guess I work better when I have a concept or am driven by an idea or some materials.  Once I have that I can let those elements "have their say" and work more freely.  Here's to getting back on the right track.


I have been experimenting with collage and abstraction, using layers of papers and fabric, stitching and textures.  My goal was to be looser and completely non objective.  I guess this is that, but it looks heavy handed and really not very free.  

I lost a lot of the subtleties of the stained papers I was using.  In the past I wrote about those kinds of things as being the soul of the work.  But the difference here, at least for me, is that I don't find the end product very pleasing and therefore this piece totally lost the "soul" that gives itself over for the good of the artwork.

That being said, I then worked on the piece to the right.  I did not give myself the same challenge of being non-objective, so I included an image which is my comfort zone.  Or my voice when working with collage.  I like this piece better, but it is what I usually do, so I haven't grown in the way I was hoping collages that are authentic to me and the way I work but with a fresh quality.

So it is back to  the studio to try again.  
I would be interested in your comments, pro and con.
This is when art making is a struggle.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

No Bones! Just Sticks and Stones

Sticks & Stones

Here are the two pieces together.
I think the contrast between the sticks that protrude and the dark stones that recede works.
The colors in the backgrounds are not identical.  I don't know if that is a big deal or not.
Each piece can works as an individual object.
But I did want to photograph them together and view them side by side.

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Cairn of Stones

Stones    8x10"

Here is the companion piece for "Sticks" which I posted yesterday.
The pile of stones in this crevice is what I was after.
The colors are off a bit from what you see in "Sticks" because I worked on them on two different days.
Also the lighting / time of day when I photographed them was different.
There are so many variables when working and then documenting.
Anything can affect the outcome!

"Stones" is 8x10" on board and is priced at $85 with free shipping in the US.  To purchase or for shipping outside of the US please email me.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Bundle of Sticks

Bundle of sticks on an 8x10" cradled board.

I have used sticks and stones in several artworks over the years, often with a reference to the childhood saying about sticks and stones being hurtful while words are not.  The work on this panel is placed overtop of book pages that allude to the word idea, although the words on the page are not hurtful...just words.
I don't often center imagery or objects right in the middle of the picture plane so this is a bit of a departure for me compositionally.  But I had an idea and ran with it, completing this piece in a rather short time about...2 1/2 hours or so.
I credit some of that short time to becoming more proficient with the plaster and shellacking process I am doing.  I have a better idea of what will happen in each layer and the way I want to order the layers. So all in all I had a good time on this snowy Sunday where I was kind of house bound.  Not complaining...I like the snow and the time to spend in the studio.

This piece is priced at $85 and includes free shipping in the US. To purchase or for shipping outside of the US, email me.