Sun Series #1

Sun Series #1

Monday, July 27, 2015

Materiality and Meaning

Sometimes I wonder how my artwork can take such different directions.  
Do these 2 pieces even seem like they were made by the same artist?

Right now my art practice is about trying to grow...growth in use of materials and growth in concept.As I look at these works I see the "bones" of what I normally do.  There is collaging and sewing, and the use or reference to fabrics. 

In the cocoon piece I wanted to use materials that I have an affinity for along with some unexpected materials like the plastic tubing.  The cocoons or pods, made from used tea bags, were the easy part in that I knew where I wanted to go with them; I know how to sew and embellish paper.  Presenting them as a sculpture is the departure seen especially in the use of the tubing.  As I worked, the sculpture took on this rather whimsical feel, due primarily to the nature of the tubing.  The materials drove the emotional or whimsical content.

The "Speak No Evil" relief also became sculptural as I wanted to use the layering I often do in two-dimensional works in a more physical and sculptural way. But the emotion and content of the piece was really driven by the fabric that is stitched over the mouth.  I wanted that to be as literal as possible.  Just as I was avoiding being too literal in the cocoon/pod piece, I was targeting the literal nature of sewing in this piece.

It seems to me that both pieces were driven by the materials I chose to use.
Materiality affects not only the meaning or content of the work but also the process in getting there.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Speak No Evil

Speak No Evil (detail) 

Speak No Evil

This is one of the three projects that I mentioned awhile ago that I would be working on simultaneously with 2 other works.  The other 2 projects are the accordion fold book called "Botanical Lies" (not done yet!  Side one is complete and I need to get back to the reverse side.)  And the one I have named for now as
"The Idea in My Head", the sculptural piece with organic tubes and cocoons.

For this piece, "Speak No Evil",  I worked from an original drawing that I did a few years ago which I wanted to update and present in a new way.  I copied the drawing using my printer and then cut up and glued the parts onto 6 different boards of different depths.
I often rework or reuse artworks in my practice.
I find this keeps me authentic, working from my own work and not using work, images or fragments of other peoples' work, which is something that a collage artists can easily do.
The collaged pieces on the board are painted with black and white acrylic paint and enhanced with pen and ink.
The cording that "sutures" her mouth closed was done by drilling and sewing the sutures with a black cord that extends beyond the edges of the boards in some places.  I really wanted the cording to extend beyond the confines of the 6 boards.

This piece has allowed me to go beyond the layering of paint on the surface of the paper to layering that becomes more three dimensional.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

My Booth at Bellissimo Art Fair!

So..the art fair was this past Sunday.  It was hot!  In the 90's and humid.
But the rain held off until after the fair.  I had a fun time talking with people I hadn't seen in a long time and meeting new people.
Gervasi Vineyard was a beautiful venue and everyone there was more than accommodating throughout the whole day.
Since I hadn't done an art fair in about 35 years(!) this one was a good re-introduction to art fairs.  I made some sales and am happy to say that I am glad I participated.

People seemed to enjoy looking through the portfolio rack with my 2-sided collages.
These are artworks that  made a few years ago documenting the changes that occurred weekly on the farm where I live.  This piece (above) is from October showing a rainy day.
The reverse side (below) shows a brighter day with abstract kites flying in the air.

When I worked on these I would start with collage elements that I usually stitched onto the paper.  Of course the stitching affected the reverse side as well.  So I would flip the piece over, add some collage elements here as well as some paint.  Flip over again, collage, paint, stitch, flip until I was satisfied with each side.
I will be doing another art fair in November and now am really looking forward to it.
I want to send a big "THANK YOU" to all of my supporters, customers and friends for making Bellissimo Art Fair a positive and memorable event.  And a special thank you to my husband for his never ending encouragement.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Progress on the Idea in My head

The Idea in My Head has taken shape as a Sculpture

So this is where I was going with those elements that I showed a few posts ago...the wood box with pre-drilled holes, the flexible tubing, and the cocoons/pods I made from stained tea bags.  As I mentioned in that previous post, I wanted to do something organic that related to the idea of pods or cocoons but without being completely literal.  It has taken several months to get from the pods which I really enjoyed making to finding a way to use them that is to me "fresh".

I am not completely done with it but wanted to show the progress.  I need to fill the holes so the tubing looks like it is one with the wood.  I am not sure about having the box sit on top of another box as it is here.  But I needed a way to photograph the piece that would show how some of the pods/cocoons hang below the box.

No title yet, but I am open to suggests.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Culinary Arts

Sometimes in the summer I have to think of what I do in the garden and kitchen as "art".  There is a creative aspect to gardening and cooking and finding new and inventive ways to use green beans!

Because I enjoy so many art processes, I think that I have the same feeling toward domestic processes such as canning and cooking and reclaiming old furniture.

So here is my "art" work from yesterday...
12 quarts of transparent applesauce and a little bit left over to go with dinner.

As for today, I am off to my studio to prepare for the art fair at Gervasi Vineyard next Sunday.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Idea in My Head

These are the components of the sculptural project I am starting.  It is an overhead view of the materials I will be using.  There is a wooden block with pre-drilled holes that I painted white, some flexible tubing from the plumbing department of the hardware store, and some cocoon/pod-like elements that I made from stained tea bags.

I made the cocoons/pods several months ago.  I thought it would be enough to have a large number of them suspended from the ceiling or pinned to the wall, but that just didn't do the trick for me in terms of a complete concept.  I wanted them to resemble or reference cocoons/pods without being completely literal.  In my thinking that means I can't use a tree limb or something from nature that would be the literal interpretation of the cocoons/pods. So I have been searching for the right material or thing that would allow me to express both the idea of cocoon/pod yet be contemporary and fresh.

I found the wooden block while cleaning out the garage and the tubing at the hardware store when we were shopping for supplies to fix a broken sink.  So now, I will see if the idea in my head comes through the materials and into an abstracted reality of cocoons or pods.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Taa Daa!!

"Botanical Lies"
This side done!  mixed media collage on paper

"Botanical Lies" detail

Finished this side, at least for now.
I was able to insert the dimensional grass element that you see in the detail.
It wasn't as hard as I was making it out to be when just thinking about it.
Sometimes I just overthink things.
Now, on to the other side.