Sun Series #1

Sun Series #1

Monday, June 29, 2015

More Progress on "Botanical Lies"

More progress on "Botanical Lies"

Slowly I am making progress on this piece.  Some of what I did the other day affected the right side.  Once I got in the groove again I was able to integrate the collage elements and what I had done previously well enough.
I am now considering some way to add some dimensional elements to this piece by having additional sections that project from inside the folded areas.  Hard to explain.  Maybe harder to do!  But I can see it in my head!
Of course, what I see in my head doesn't always make it to the final artwork.

And this is a 2-sided piece,  so I still have the other side to do.
Yikes!  Taking more time than I originally thought it would.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Progress on "Botanical Lies"

Progress on "Botanical Lies"

Thus far, I have begun to work from right to left (?! go figure) using acrylics and colored pencil to expand upon my drawings done with pen and ink as well as stitched line drawing.  When I work in sections as I have done here I always worry about integrating the 2 parts.  Especially if some time has elapsed as it has with this piece.  While I have been doing other artwork, I haven't touched this piece for a week.
We will see what happened when I get back to it today.
Then there will be another time lapse since company arrives tomorrow.
Can't wait to see you guys!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Blog Worthy Demo

6x6" encaustic painting

Last Thursday and Friday I was teaching an encaustic painting class.  As a part of the class I did a few demos of  various encaustic techniques.  Usually my demos aren't anything to write home about. Or in this case to write a blog about.  But this particular demo had some potential and above is the final result.
The paisley design came from a sheer fabric that I adhered to demonstrate the use of fabrics when working with encaustic.  Some of the other techniques include using stencils (dots in the lower right corner), creating textures (left side), and collaging paper (heart in upper right corner).

My husband, who is also an artist, and I recently had a discussion about the value in working a surface or a project or a concept until it gets to some resolution.  I am not always able to get an artwork to a finished state that I am happy with with, but I agree that the process of trying to do so can result in valuable insights into the ways in which one works with their materials and ideas.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

More About "Botanical Lies"

Box for "Botanical Lies"

Botanical Lies & box

I love putting things in boxes!  So, creating this accordion fold book and finding a way to display it allowed me to utilize a box once again.  The tags hanging from the box in the first photo above show the title,"Botanical Lies".   The second photo  displays part of the accordion fold book (in progress) emerging from the box.

My book project is part of a larger body of work done by the artists who are a part of ABC...Art Books Cleveland.
We are participating in a display of book arts in conjunction with a larger exhibit at the Cleveland  Museum of Art,
"Painting the Modern Garden, Monet to Matisse".  For those participating, we are asked to create an original artist book that has a garden theme.  The finished books will be displayed in Ingalls Library located in the Cleveland Museum of Art  during the month of October with a special one night exhibit of the works in the atrium of the museum on October 14, 2015 from 6:30-8:00pm.

My idea was to create a book of fantastical flowers inspired by the work of Gaugin and Rousseau.  I started by drawing my own versions of flowers and adding found botanical drawings along with collage elements from works I had done in the past.  I did some stitching on the paper to emphasize leaves and stems which I plan to paint later.  Because I am stitching on paper, what I do on the front side affects the back of the paper as well.  So this will be a two sided book with imagery and information on both sides. I like that the stitching causes me to think. What happens with the stitching which was deliberate on one side affects  what I can do on the back or opposite side.  Working back and forth from one side to the other sets up a dynamic that doesn't happen when  one considers just the front or one side of the paper.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

"Botanical Lies" (in progress)

"Botanical Lies"
Front and Back of the Accordion Fold Book
12 x 24"  (work in progress)

This is the beginning of the accordion fold book that I am making with work on both sides of the page.  I have done 2-sided work in the past and enjoy the challenge and the energy of simultaneously working both sides.  For this piece I started with a drawing in pen and ink on the side I am calling "the front".  I then stitched some of the drawing lines which, of course, affected the reverse side of the paper.  On "the back" I played with those lines a bit and then added some colored collage elements from a photocopy of another one of my artworks to both sides.

Now the task will be to incorporate all I have done so far into a cohesive whole, with each side having its own say.  The title of the book is "Botanical Lies", a title I borrowed (with permission) from amazing quilter Connie Bloom.  See her work at
The book will fit into a tall wooden box.

There is a LOT going on here, so I have my work cut out for me.
And in all honesty I have had this much done for two weeks and can't seem to move forward.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Simple, Yet Not Simplistic

8x8" mixed media collage

This is the last of the small collages for awhile.  Spare and thinly layered.  Simple without being simplistic.
I have started 3 other projects: an accordion fold book, a dimensional portrait (of sorts), and a sculpture using some cocoons or pods that I made with the stained tea bags.  These will be rather time consuming and depending on how I multi-task, I will post them in-progress and maybe not in order.
I am excited about all three and especially about moving from the more straightforward mixed media work into something more experimental.
The accordion fold book is the piece that is more grounded in what I usually do.
The sculptural piece is the most "out there" or experimental one.
And the portrait is somewhere in the middle of these 2 extremes (if they can even be called extremes).
Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Arch and Ivy

Arch and Ivy
8x8"  mixed media collage

The last few pieces (some of which I've posted and some not) have been heavily layered.
I wanted to go back to work with layers that are thinner thus revealing, not totally hiding, the ground or base layers.
As with much of my work, the materials and process influence my decisions.
The circle of ivy leaves was one of the original elements in this collage.
The archway developed or appeared as I added other papers and paint.
I am finding that the stained tea bag papers remain transparent so what ever is underneath still has some presence.
They also take paint well.  The arch appeared from the stained marks on the tea bag and was enhanced by some
watercolor paint.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Sneak Preview !

mixed media collage  6x6"

Some works are more mixed media than others.
This one leans toward the very, very mixed media end of the scale.
Underneath what lies on top is a failed encaustic work that I sanded and scraped to make it a workable surface for other media.  There were still remnants of the original work on the board when I started to add more new media.  And I like working with those ghosts and histories.
But it was a struggle to get to this point.

This piece (and lots of my other pieces) will be with me at the Bellissimo Art Fair on Sunday July 19th.
Over 50 visual artists and artisans will be featured.
Come join us for art and wine in a beautiful setting.

5th Annual Bellissimo Fine Arts and Craft Show
Sunday July 19, 2015  12-5PM

Gervasi Vineyard
1700  55th Street NE
Canton, OH 44721

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Starting and Stopping

mixed media collage  6x6"

When I made the piece called "Greenhouse" (see May 29th post) I thought I was starting a series of pieces with house shapes in them.  As I worked on this piece it started looking just like "Greenhouse"...similar colors, definitely the same pointed roof shape, and positioned in the same place on the page.  So I really struggled to get what I have here.  I do like this as an end product but feel ambivalent about the house series idea.  I find this disconcerting since much of my early quilt work (we are talking 1980's here!) was based on architecture...doors, windows, arches etc.

I don't want to repeat what I have done in the past but I feel like it is territory that I am familiar with and can reinvent.
Now I am not so sure.

As I think about the problems / struggles I am having in the studio right now I feel I can attribute some of it to being away from the studio on a regular basis.  I was out of town for a few days, and getting the garden in and the flower beds weeded has been time consuming.  Perhaps I am just making excuses for myself.  But I do find that starting and stopping work can be problematic.
I lose the thread and continuity of my intentions.
The flow of ideas and process becomes fractured.
Discontent and insecurity set in.

I think these thoughts are as much a part of the process as the actual making of work.