Sun Series #1

Sun Series #1

Thursday, April 30, 2015


Variations on a Theme no. 8 (detail)
Variations on a Theme no. 8

This layered collage incorporates whole pieces of paper and fabric with some found remnants of other collage pieces.
For my purposes, stitching on paper is drawing.
The addition of the coppery metal pieces adds dimension to the flat surface
and contrasts the delicate nature of the thin thread.
This particular bird image is one I often repeat.
It represents soaring, freedom, release although it is slightly
veiled behind the layer of vellum which somewhat contradicts the notion of freedom and release.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

More White on White

Variations on a Theme no. 7

More palette cleansing!  White work on paper with stitching.
I love the textural effect of the torn paper edges and the stitching on paper.

8x10" mounted on a board ready to hang.
$110 with free shipping in the US.  Visit my  Etsy shop for details.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Quilt on a Clothesline

Clothesline Art no. 3:  Quilt

This is the third and final piece in this particular series of clothesline artwork.
It is a photocopy of an earlier collage with the addition of the sewn paper sheets and quilt.
I like how this piece looks as if it is hanging in a field of wheat.

The work is $45 with free shipping in the US.  Look for details on my Etsy shop.

Friday, April 24, 2015

More Clothesline Art

Clothesline Art no. 2

Not everyone has white sheets. In fact, the  range of color and design in sheets today is amazing.
It is Friday here and a day when I typically do some laundry.  Should I string up the clothesline and hang my wash out?  It is currently 40 degrees but sunny.  I have never hung my laundry out while wearing gloves!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Clothesline Art

Clothesline Art no. 1:  White Sheets

In the Spring and Summer I like to hang my wash outside on a clothesline.  I love the smell of the clothes "kissed by the sun" and I like seeing them wave in the breeze.  It does take more time to carry them out and pin them to the clothes line.  Throwing them from the washer into the dryer is definitely easier, for sure.  But for now I am happy with this little nod to domesticity.

I also have always liked seeing clothes hanging on a line.  I live in Amish country and these admirable women hang clothes out year round.  I like the architectural look of clothes on a line and the way people choose to hang the clothes....all the sheets and pillow cases together, all of the underwear together, shirts together, overalls together.  While I am doing laundry for just 2 people, I do tend to put like articles together on the line.

This series of just 3 pieces is a nod to all that I like about hanging clothes on a line outside.
It is somewhat abstract yet I think the sheets are readily seen as such.  The background came from a photocopy of a collage I made a few years ago.  "Fresh" sheets have been sewn onto the line adding a bit more dimension to the new work.

The work measures 6x6" and is mounted on a board, ready for hanging.  It is priced at $45.
To purchase, please visit my Etsy site.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Using Stitch as a Drawing Line

Variations on a Theme no. 6

So...after a week of teaching and working in the yard, I am back to making art.
Once spring arrives (and it is finally here!) there is so much to do.  It will be interesting to see how I balance art making with all of the yard work and gardening that I normally do.
This piece is number 6 in a series of light / white works.  I feel like I was able to get back to the really light palette that I was trying to achieve.  There are a few more pieces coming in this series.  I am enjoying this but getting eager to use more color. I think the "cleansing" of my palette worked.  I hope I can start reusing color with a new eye.
I really do love stitching on paper and fabric, and this is one of the things I was able to accomplish in this series of light works.  I like to think of stitching as a drawing line, a way to add linear elements but with thread and stitch as opposed to pen and ink.  That is part of what I did in this series.
I am finding that each piece brings a new set of challenges...
how to use mostly white materials,
how to use stitch in a way that references drawing,
how to manipulate materials, both fabric and paper,
how to be abstract and yet appeal to a broad audience of art lovers.

For sale in my Etsy shop for $110 with free shipping to the US.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Nose to the Grindstone

I have been away from my computer, but not away from art.
I taught a class this past Thursday and Friday at Journey Art Gallery in the Arts District in Canton OH.  The class focused on encaustic painting and incorporating found objects into the work.

I had 6 very industrious students who were experimenting with encaustic paint.  You can tell how intent they are because in every photo I took they had their "noses to the grindstone".   There were times in the classroom where you could hear a pin drop because they were so focused on their work.  I am always amazed by the progress that each person makes when they have time to just really
 concentrate on a media, technique or concept.

When I teach a class I always feel like I learn as much from my students as they learn form me. Everyone shares their personal journeys, their successes and failures, materials and techniques they have tried, and the results, both positive and negative.

Here is one of the outcomes of the workshop, a mixed media encaustic work that incorporates paper, stitching, fabric and encaustic paint on a board by Gail Wetherall Sack.  These past 2 days have left me with inspiration and a need to get back to my own work in the studio.  Thanks to the 6 students who took the class and to Su Nimon of Journey Art Gallery for hosting us!

Now it is time for me to get my nose back to the grindstone!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Bulb in a Vase
3.5x3.5" floating in a 6x6" box

I came across this image from a collage I made a few years ago just as I was noticing all of the spring bulbs coming up in my garden.   In the past I have often forced bulbs in the dead of winter by putting them in a bowl of stones and water.
Usually February is when I feel the need for something blooming, just to give me encouragement that spring is actually going to happen.  And after this past winter that is truer than ever.
So here is a little bit of that hope in a small  painting on a tea bag.

$50 with free shipping in the US.  To purchase, please visit my Etsy shop.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Jeff's Leaf

Jeff's Leaf
3x3" floating in a 6x6" box

Transfer of an original collage onto a used tea bag.
More color was added with watercolor paint, shellac and pen and ink.
French Knots to embellish.
I need to drink more tea;  I am almost out of tea bags to repurpose!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Letting the Work Speak to Me

Variation on a Theme no. 5

Working with this large, curved, white collar was a challenge.  I guess it was the fact that it is so large on this 8x10" piece of paper and that it has such an organic nature.  A lot of my work tends to be more geometric.  So it is good to work against the grain, so to speak.  There was lots of staring at the big white collar and the big white collar just staring back.  I was waiting for the work to speak to me.  Sometimes it does; sometimes I just have to guess at what the work wants.  I think in the end the big white collar did not want to be so big, so visible.  The addition of the woven belt and the stained tea bags on the left helped the composition as did the pink circles on the right.
Over all, this Variations Series is telling me I need to work with smaller collage pieces when working in this size range.
But I did not learn the lesson soon enough.  I have already started and almost completed Variation no. 6 which also has a pretty large collage element.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Mended Door, Tea Bag Painting

Mended Door
3.5 x 3.5" recessed in a 6x6" frame

I received a comment yesterday about the tea bag painting of a poppy addressing the stitching on a piece so small.
(Thanks, Heather!)
The stitching in that piece was on the original collage that I resized and then transferred to the tea bag.
In this piece you can see the size of the stitches and that they are sort of out of proportion to the rest of the painting.
The used tea bags are somewhat fragile, depending on what kind of tea bags they are, how long I let them sit before I emptied out the contents, etc.
I don't mind the small tears and holes.  I think they add a certain character that is authentic to the fact that it is a recycled material.  In this piece I added more watercolor paint, pen and ink lines for definition and some shellac.  The shellac adds more strength to the piece without affecting negatively the translucency of the tea bag.
The artwork is not mounted directly onto the inside of the box, but raised on some foam core so that it appears to float within the box.

Priced at $50.  To purchase, please visit my Etsy shop.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Painting on Tea Bags!

3x3" recessed in a 6x6" frame

I love poppies!  And they are just beginning to emerge from my garden.  I love the kind of fuzzy irregular leaves, the tall thin stems, the red-orange flowers and even the stalks with the seed pods that remain once the petals have fallen off.
Those stalks are so sculptural.
This small artwork is a transfer from another poppy collage that I did a number of years ago.
It is transferred onto a used tea bag, hence the small size.
I added some more watercolor paint and drawing elements.
I am finding the used tea bags to be a good receptacle for paint and ink, although they are rather fragile.
I haven't experimented with fresh or new tea bags but think they might be stronger.
I like the staining quality that one finds on a used tea bag so I am willing to work with the delicate nature of these bags.  There are also additional characteristics like small tears and spots of tea that add to the artwork.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Creating Tension

Variations on a Theme no. 4

Strong contrasts in white and black emphasize the contrasts in imagery and materials.  The drawing of the spine and suture-like stitches seem to create a sense of tension or disconnect with the flowery embroidery.  So the variation in this piece lies in both the use of limited color and suggestions from the imagery and stitching.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Good Friday Art Work

Stations of the Cross:  Jesus Meets the Women

I am in an exhibit where artists were asked to interpret one of the Stations on the Cross for the Lenten Season.  I was happy to be able to interpret  the station where Jesus interacts with the daughters of Jerusalem.   I wanted to give this station a contemporary feel and not recreate the traditional station where Jesus meets women while carrying His cross.  While we as women  don't often do a lot of ironing anymore it is something we all have a reference for.  Many of us learned how to iron by ironing handkerchiefs so this seemed to me to be a perfect metaphor for the women mentioned in this passage.

My installation has a man's shirt that represents Jesus.  Inside the shirt is the quote: "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me but for yourselves and your children".  The ironing board becomes the pedestal for four irons with the faces of women of varying ages who are saddened by their encounter with Jesus as He carries his cross.  There is a pile of handkerchiefs representing the tears of women of all ages.

Here are the details on this exhibit in Canton Ohio.