Sun Series #1

Sun Series #1

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Wine and Dine

Wine and Dine
mixed media collage  8x8"

I have a stash of paper napkins that have a set of silverware printed on them.  Up until now, I've used them sparingly...for special dinners, special company...because I like them so much and can't seem to find them again.
 I discovered that I can split the backing from the front image. They then become rather transparent when used in a collage.  Especially when I shellac over them.

In this piece I appliqu├ęd them over top of the bottle images and they appear is if they are inside of the bottles, making a fun play on the idea of Wine and Dine.

For sale in my Etsy Shop for $85 including shipping.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Creative Needs

6x6" mixed media collage

Playing around with a house shape and plaster, shellac and paint.
I don't play enough.
 Need to play and experiment more.
Need to embrace the accidents.
Need to push the process.
Need to trust my instincts.
Need more time in the studio.
Need a concept.
Does needing a concept contradict the need to play?
Time to find out.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Observation and Anticipation

6x6" Print

I have been away for a few days visiting family in Texas where I attended my niece's wedding.
A good time was had by all and now it is back to the studio and the gardening.

A number of years ago I made this print that combined chairs with a pair of eyes "observing" the scene.
I love chairs and this photo of rows and rows of chairs seems fitting for the season when graduations, weddings, and reunions take place.  I must confess that I did not take the photo.  I don't know who did.  And I don't remember how I came upon the photo, but I have loved it for its repetition and solitude.  It also speaks to me of anticipation....the anticipation of an event where the chairs will be filled with people.  Where each guest will be "observing" and participating in some way in the event.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Integrating and Unifying

At the End of the Road

This was total play!  I did not start out with an idea of what I wanted at the end.  The only preconceived element was that I would create some texture in plaster with a cotton doily I have.  As with much of my work, it is mixed media...very mixed media!  In the layers of the collage there are found papers, part of a photocopy of one of my artworks, plaster, shellac, watercolor and acrylic paint.  I worked back and forth between all of these elements, sometimes sanding the layers with my mouse sander.  I applied the shellac and used the sander the way one might apply paint or erase out charcoal or graphite.

Because plaster and shellac take time to dry between layers, I find that I can multi-task, working on several pieces at one time.  What happens in one piece often becomes something I incorporate into some of the other pieces depending on what else is going on in them.  I like that when I look at the finished works I often can't tell the order of my process.
For me this is the definition of truly integrating all of the elements into a unified whole.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Ten Little Leaves

10 Leaves

More painting and stitching on  tea bags.
Here the artwork is done totally with tea bags collaged to a thin base paper then painted with watercolors
and hand stitched.
The tea bags accept the paint really well and the stained marks and texture from the tea is a bonus.
I cut through the tea bags in some areas to expose the white base paper.
I really struggled with those white recessed areas.   They were just too white.  In the end I used some colored pencil and shellac to tone them down.

For sale on my  Etsy site for $65.  

Back to Work


So...finally I am back in the studio!  I still have gardening to do, but I feel like I can start to balance home and garden with the studio.  In the past, because I was teaching, summer was my studio time and the rest of the year was for teaching.  Now, I can flip-flop that and concentrate on artwork in the winter months and the garden and home in the summer.We will see how that works out.
So you have here another tea bag painting...a transfer of an original artwork onto a tea bag enhanced with water color and stitching.  I like the intimacy of these small pieces.  There is a freshness to them and an unexpected quality of play.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Thoughts About Time

Third Week of May

As we approach the third week of May, I am sharing the Farmscape piece I did in 2009 during that week.
As in my last post, this is a two-sided work showing 2 aspects of that week.
Time is often a factor for me...mainly, not having enough of it!
And I am certainly feeling that this spring.  I feel so behind in my gardening. I can't keep up with the mowing. And I try not to notice the record crop of dandelions.
But the tulips and daffodils were especially lovely this year and are almost done.
The apple and pear trees have finished their blossoms and it looks like there will be plenty of fruit.
The peonies will open this week and my lettuce, peas, and radishes are popping up.

So the notion of time can be a reference to how much time one has, how one uses that time, and how time itself
flows in a regular repetitive pattern that we come to rely upon.  As the song says,
"To everything there is a season...And a time to every purpose under heaven."
("Turn, Turn Turn" by the Byrds)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Two Sided Collage

Spring Collage (front and back)

I have talked about my two sided collages from my "Farmscape Series" but have neglected to post both sides of one of them.  Here is a collage from the 4th week in April.
If you follow the geometric aspects of the work you can see where the stitching and collaging on one side influenced what happened on the reverse side.  Usually one side ended up being lighter and brighter than the other.  I would start by collaging elements on one side of the paper, then reversing it to see what I might want to include on the other side.  I would return to the first side and do some painting, then reverse it and work on the other side.  It was a continual back and forth process.
This allowed me to make 2 observations about what was happening on the farm during that particular week.

And how do I know this was from the 4th week in April?
I included a code.
If you look at the bottom of the piece you will notice 
some stitched blocks with lines through them.
The number of blocks indicate the month and the number of lines indicate the week.
This piece has 4 stitched blocks with 4 stitched lines indicating the fourth week of April.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Asparagus, Dandelions and Rain..oh my!


I have not been writing as frequently of late as I have been in the garden and doing yard work.
There is a lot of that to do at this time of year, so I have been diverted from playing in my studio to playing in the dirt.
The artwork here is from my "Farmscape Series" done in 2009 where I created one 2-sided collage each week throughout the year.  The idea was to reflect abstractly the weekly changes in weather, landscape, atmosphere and my feelings about these things.

As I see the asparagus coming up in my garden right now and since I probably won't get into the studio again today I am sharing this collage of asparagus, dandelions and rain.  While we have a lot more dandelions than asparagus, our asparagus bed is producing quite well.

The collage incorporates a painted and silkscreened fabric with imagery that felt like asparagus to me when I found it in my stash as I was making the collage.  I am sure I was not thinking about asparagus when I painted the fabric, but that is the beauty of abstract work and saving all of my scraps.  The dandelion is from a photo I took of that puff ball dandelion top that is loaded with seeds to guessed it, more dandelions.
(The pressure to have a weed-free lawn is not so great in the country.
We are happy just to have something green growing in the yard.)
And the rain shower is stitching.

So I am off to hang the laundry out and work in the garden and yard, "making art in my head" as I work.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Mother's Day Reflection

Joanne 1927

This Sunday is Mother's Day.
In honor of my mom who is no longer with me in person but definitely with me in spirit I offer this encaustic work which pictures my mom dressed up and holding a cute little purse.
I have put a halo of sorts on her head.
In the background is the image of a dress, appropriate because she sewed many of my clothes and taught me to sew.
As an avid gardener, both vegetables and flowers, I include this blue flower. and the brown vines.
I miss her every day and think of her whenever I sew, garden, can vegetables, or do home improvement projects which she did constantly throughout her life.

Happy Mother's Day to all!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Foundations of a Visual Vocabulary

Variations on a Theme no. 10

Here is the final piece in this mostly white /light series.
It has been both fun and challenging to work with this palette using collage.
You can see more color sneaking in when you notice the image in the lower right hand corner.
As I observe and analyze this piece I also see the use of imagery that I started with earlier in the blog...
the circles, the use of notations via music notes and shorthand papers along with the ladder form.
It seems to me that one's visual vocabulary has a foundation of images, shapes, forms, color, and technique that
become truly one's individual identity and artistic voice.
The circles and notations, the stitching and collage, the plaster and shellac are that foundation for me.

You can find this piece for sale in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Dimension and Depth

Variations on a Theme no. 9

Series is almost done.  One more to go.
I have always enjoyed working in white and light tones, usually using paint.
Returning to this palette for awhile has been good...both challenging as I looked for a variety of materials to use
as well as exciting to create collages with limited color.
The use of plaster adds dimension with its texture and the shellac adds depth with its amber glaze.