Sun Series #1

Sun Series #1

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Reworking the Unsuccessful

Reworked "Remnants no. 004"

Following a critique of this piece and a lot of thought I reworked it, adding some more fabric and details to the sculptural top left area. The consensus was that in its original form it felt incomplete, unfinished and missing the kind of information I usually include that helps create a narrative.  I think I was so caught up in the sculptural form of the work that I  stopped working on it too soon.
Below is what the original looked like.
I would be interested in hearing your thoughts about this piece. 
Or about reworking pieces in general.   
"When is a work finished?"
"Will I ruin it if I keep going?"
"Do I stick with my original idea/intent or should I let the work dictate the progress?"

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Eco Dyeing

Eco Dyeing with Plant Materials and Black Walnuts

So, not because I didn't have anything else to do....I have plenty to do!...I decided to try some dyeing with
all of those black walnuts that are laying in the yard.  Jessica Pinsky from Praxis ( was here to get some walnuts for dyeing her yarn and that is what got me going.  I googled around a bit and then just kind of dove in.
The large piece in the background on the left is a piece of cotton and the large one on the right is silk organza.
The foreground pieces are stonehenge paper which I soaked in a bath of water and alum before dyeing.
The paper and plant materials were layered in a sandwich between 2 pieces of plexiglass then tied with string.
These items were simmered in as enamel pan with black walnuts and water for about an hour.
The leaf and plant materials left their marks in green and yellow while the brown is from the back walnut dye.
I don't know what I will do with them, but they were really fun to do.
I had forgotten the surprise and delight of opening a tie dye package!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Growth with Authenticity

Remnants no.004
fabric, wire mesh, hydrocal and encaustic paint on board

The base of all of the Remnant pieces (so far) is a cradled board.
It is providing the hard and strong structure that I need to support the weight of the hydrocal and wax.
I found with this piece that I need to look for a sturdier wire component as the weight of the hydrocal and wax on this thin wire mesh really was a bit too heavy, because I extended it so far off the board.
But I was really after that curled edge on the upper right which the thin wire mesh allowed me to do.

These pieces have been fun and challenging.  That is what the art process is about for me...working with new materials and techniques yet trying to allow my collage and mixed media voice to stay true.
Growth with authenticity.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Remnants no. 003

Remnants no. 003
mixed media collage

I am really intrigued with the hydrocal (plaster).
It is enabling me to get some more dimension out of the 2D surface.
As I work I am making each piece a bit larger by extending the wire mesh and the area where the hydrocal will go.
Leaving some of the mesh show is intentional and adds to the aged, found, neglected  aspect of the work.
I hope that the viewer finds plenty of room for individual interpretation of the materials and the objects used.
I have given a lot of thought to titling these with more information, but like the anonymity of the word and title "Remnants".  Upon checking the dictionary I see that a remnant is defined as 'a surviving trace'  or 'a small remaining quantity of something'.  All good reasons to keep the work small and a bit mysterious.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Felting Workshop

Felted Vessels by Susan McClelland

                               Yesterday I took a felting workshop at Praxis Fiber Workshop
which is located in the Waterloo district of Cleveland.  Jessica Pinsky welcomed the 8 participants to her new studio and venture and Susan McClelland taught the class.

I have a little experience with felting and it was fun to renew my interest in it.  I had forgotten how much fun it was to do felting.  Especially in a group of other like minded people and artists.  There is a certain methodical, repetitive, and contemplative aspect to the process which is akin to knitting or quilting that I really like.

Praxis is a great new place for the textile artist.  One can learn weaving, dyeing, shibori techniques, felting and other processes associated with fiber.  Jessica is a talented artist and now a business woman and entrepreneur!  Check out her website (  Join in the fun!

Workshop Participants felting their first vessel.

Class vessels

Taa Daa!!  My vessels


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Some of My Favorite Things

"Remnants no. 002"
acrylic, hydrocal, fabric, wire mesh, and tea bag on board

Second piece in this series.
The hydrocal (plaster) is challenging but I like the way I can get more dimension with it in conjunction with the wire mesh.  The addition of the tea bag with the image on it adds a greater sense of identity to the piece.
Hard and Soft; Smooth and Textural; References to Sewing and Ancestry...some of my favorite things.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Experiments with New Materials

"Remnants no. 001"
fabric,wire mesh,  hydrocal, encaustic paint, and found objects on board
9x9x 1.5"

In an effort to add more dimension to my 2D work and collages I am experimenting with some new materials.
The use of wire mesh and the hydrocal are the materials that are giving this work a deeper surface as well as some texture.
I feel that I work best when I have some kind of concept in mind.  Here I was thinking about the remnants of materials like fabric, wallpaper, and linoleum that one finds when remodeling or even after a disaster such as a flood or hurricane.
Hydrocal is a very hard plaster substance.  It is harder than ordinary plaster of paris.
I wanted the rigidity of this material because I felt it would hold the wire mesh in place and create a greater sense of depth,
making the layering that I like to do even more pronounced.