Sun Series #1

Sun Series #1

Monday, September 28, 2015

Layered Ambiguity

11x14" mixed media on board

Impressionistic, Attic-y feel with a subtle use of mostly black and white.
Lots of history or soul to this piece in the many layers.
Materials include acrylic paint, found images, Japanese papers, parts of an old painting, fabric and plaster.
Can't get much more mixed media than that.
But maybe I will try!

Friday, September 25, 2015

End of the Growing Season But Not the End of Its Beauty

I had to drop off some artwork at Rachel's house and in her kitchen she had this amazing display of dried flowers hanging from the overhead beams.  Why didn't I think to do that?!
I have seen hanging dried flowers in books and magazines yet I had not really considered doing anything with them in my own house.
Or maybe I had, but didn't realize how stunning it would look.  And how much I would enjoy the beauty of plants that are past their prime.

We have acres of beautiful wildflowers and weeds growing in fields and woods.
We have beams and rafters in our house.
I always have several flower arrangements in the house starting with pussy willows in the spring and running the gamut of flowers growing throughout the summer and fall. 
But once the frost comes I feel like that part is over.  But now it doesn't have to be.

I immediately came home from Rachel's and started cutting the end of the growing season to bring indoors.
What a beautiful installation of shapes, colors, textures, sizes and smells.
Thanks Rachel!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sewing Paper

"When Night Comes Before Day"
11x14"  mixed media collage

I have a love for sewing.
I have sewn most of my life, moving from making my own clothes to making quilts to sewing anything that  I can stick a threaded needle into.
Sewing a collaged surface takes more time, but it is time that I truly enjoy.
It brings a certain intimacy to the work that isn't there for me with other materials.
When I am working with hard surfaces like wood, I find that I incorporate sewing-like line quality.
And at times I have drilled holes into the wood so I could actually stitch the surface.
As with any artwork, the use of materials or techniques needs to "match the meaning" or intent of the work.
The black lace, although plastic, and the white lace, although covered with plaster, definitely called out for stitching.
The laces had been previously used for printing their designs onto other artwork, so they are the unconventional materials here while the stitching is the traditional process used to tie everything together.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

What's in a Title?

"Not Enough of Anything"
9x11" mixed media collage

Is it important to title your art work?
This is an ongoing question in art schools and among artists everywhere.
As an educator I feel that titling one's work gives the viewer some idea of where you are leading them.
Although titles can be rather elusive, as I think this one is.  But it might cause one to think.

When I go to galleries and museums I see titles that are often very obvious and ones that don't help me at all in terms of knowing what the artist intended.  Perhaps, in the latter case, s/he wanted to remain rather private.
I usually give a lot of consideration to the titles of my artworks.
Sometimes a more straightforward title is what the work calls for while other times titles that carry some emotional content fit the work and my thought process throughout.
That might be the case for this work.

Monday, September 14, 2015

For the Love of Fonts

"For the Love of Fonts"
5x7" mixed media on board

Who doesn't like fonts?  I can spend hours looking at them when I am doing an artwork that requires a font.
I have downloaded some special ones that I like onto my computer.
This piece started with a piece of black discharged (bleached) fabric and a purchased art paper with some writing on it.
The large letters came from a plastic bag;
the smaller fonts from a transparency I made a long time ago with a variety of wording in a variety of fonts.
The color is from some transfers to the plastic which were only moderately successful as the transfer did not want to stick to the plastic...not porous enough, I guess.  Live and learn.
But I do think the hint of transparent color was needed.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Many Techniques, Many Layers

Rust Belt Landscape
Mixed Media on Board

This started out as a demo for a workshop and actually made its way to finished product.
That doesn't always happen with my demos.  It did take a lot of work for me to get it to this stage.
Many revisions.  I was working with the rusting technique, burning, and painting.
The other 2 pieces in this series are more blue and cool colors, so it was a challenge to work with the pinks and browns here.

I really like incorporating found materials in my work.
With this piece I was able to use some found metal objects to create the rust stains on the piece, and then use those along with some actual rusted objects. The incorporation of the gold squares reference another form of alchemy where no tarnishing or patination has taken place.  I wanted the contrast of the bright, clean gold color along with the rusted areas. The idea of a landscape comes from the architectural nature of the artwork...buildings, doors, windows, fences.
Bright and clean.  Rusted and tarnished.
Like life.

Many techniques and signature.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

By the Skin of My Teeth!

Botanical Lies  (reverse side)
Accordion fold book

I promised myself last Sunday that I would finish this within the week.
When I wrote that, I was sure it would be done by Tuesday.
It is now Saturday and technically the end of the week long time period I set for myself.
I guess I finished this on time by the shin of my teeth!

I often find that it is difficult to get back to a work and get into the right mind set to finish something when a lot of time has passed, as it had for this work.  I was really into it in July, but other aspects of life took over and I kept making excuses for not working on this.  But I did have fun finishing it today.
Sometimes it is just a matter of getting myself out to my studio.

This work will be in an exhibit of artists books based on a garden theme to be on display in the Ingall's Library of the Cleveland Museum of Art.  The people in this art books group are very talented and make really exciting and interesting artist books.  The exhibit is on display in Ingall's Library located inside the Cleveland Museum of Art from September 29 through October 30th during the Museum's library hours.
A special showing of the books in the Atrium of the Cleveland Museum will take place on Wednesday, October 14th from 6:30-8:00 PM.  Many of the artists will be there to talk about their books.