Sun Series #1

Sun Series #1

Monday, August 6, 2018

Self Made Residency, Part 2

"From the Elements Series:Air"
mixed media painting with collage
80 x 27 x 1.5"

In an earlier blog I mentioned that I since I couldn't go on a residency this summer I declared July
'Art Month' with the intent of spending as much time as possible in the studio.
I did manage to create 2 pieces based on ideas I had been thinking about for quite awhile.
The first piece I talked about in my last post dated July 23rd.

The piece here is the largest work I have made in a long time.
It is painted on a hollow core door and is the first in a 4 part series based on the elements: earth, air, fire and water.

I wanted to create a work that had enough information in it so the viewer could create their own narrative
based on the images, colors, and emotions evoked in the piece.  There is also a bit of mystery here with the bird, key and cage that is personal to me but universal images that might suggest something completely different to you.

Keys, zippers, bird cages, clocks, and dandelions are part of my visual vocabulary as is the stoic countenance
 of the angel in the cage. Those of you who know my work also recognize this dress shape from past work.

The challenge was the size, using primarily paint as oppose to collage and the fact that I couldn't do
any direct sewing on a door.  Although I am working on that!  I have drilled holes and sewn on wood
panels, but the door presents other problems.

The success was incorporating the dress into the background in a way that suggests that it is floating
or becoming part of the atmosphere/air. I don't know if I will tinker with it any more or not.
That may depend upon the development of the next one in the series which will probably be 'earth'.

Monday, July 23, 2018

In Case I Forget

"In Case I Forget"
mixed media collage
24 x 24 1.5"

This work has been a long time in coming.
I have been thinking about aspects of Dementia, Alzheimer's and aging for about 5 years.

My great Aunt Alice, who was my Confirmation Sponsor, had Dementia.
My Mom's sister also had Alzheimer's or Dementia.
So the subject is close.

I want to be honest but also not depict the person without dignity.
While there is a sadness associated with these images they also portray the creative life of the person.
Someone who sewed, did needlepoint, quilted, had family members they held close to them.
This is what I wouldn't want to forget.

The use of the window frame references our ability to look in to who they were/are as well
as their ability to remember, at times, and look out.
Looking in / Looking out.

I don't think I am able to completely express in words all that this work holds for me.
That is why I make express what I just can't say with words.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Does This Count?

Solar Dyed Threads

So...I am on my "Self Made Residency" home.
It is July.
And while the upkeep in the garden is at a minimum, the harvesting and production is not.
Cucumbers arte begging to be turned into pickles.
Green beans need to be blanched.
Onions and garlic need to be harvested and hung out to dry.
Everything needs to be watered daily and I won't even mention weeding.
Probably not happening.

So my time is really not totally for art making.
But I did manage to solar dye some silk threads.
I used petunias, marigolds, onion skins (of course), and purple day lilies.
The image above is my result.

I do like to work with these solar dyed threads.
They add a person touch to my stitching.

So my question is...Does this count as making art during my residency?
I hope so, because that along with making dill pickles, blanching green beans, and hanging the onions out to dry is what
I accomplished today.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

My Self-made Residency

Work in Progress
mixed media collage

While I have been in the studio since July 1 on my "Self-made Residency" and I have been working,
it has primarily been completing works that have been promised for upcoming exhibits
 that I have been invited to participate in.
I always enjoy working on pieces that are directed by someone else's concept.
They often challenge me in ways that are different from my own concepts
But now it is MY time.  My own work.  My own concepts.

The image above is a work in progress about aging and dementia.
It is a subject I have been thinking about for over 6 years and wanting to comment on but just couldn't
pull all of the various ideas and research together.
I think I have hit up what it is I want to say about dementia and about my great aunt who
definitely had dementia, if not Alzheimer's.

There will be six images in all presented in an old window frame.
More to come.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

And So It Begins...

"Hidden in Plain Sight"
mixed media collage on paper

Historically, or at least as long as I have lived on the farm...that being 13 years, July has been "Art Month".
This started when I was still teaching and summer was when I had the most time for making art.
The gardens, both veggie and flower, were not as large.
I could get everything going in May and June and then the gardens were on a maintenance schedule.
Since I retired from full time teaching, gardening has expanded by a lot.
Last summer I barely got in the studio at all.

In an effort to rectify that I am reestablishing July as "Art Month".
Obviously this is a self imposed declaration.
But I hope by writing it here and knowing that someone might read this I will be compelled to follow through.
Wish me luck.
I am off to the studio right now as it is July 1!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Keeping All of the Balls in the Air

"Finding a Balance"
mixed media collage on paper

Do you ever find it difficult to get everything done or find time to do all that you want to do?
I do and I find it so true at the change of seasons, especially the change from spring into summer.
I have all of this studio work that I want to do. Projects that are partially done, others that are barely started or ones that are almost complete. And of course there are all of the ones in my head!
But now it is summer and I want to get the garden going and add to the perennial flower beds.
Not to mention weeding and mowing.
And what about family and friends or time to go on a vacation?
Isn't summer about vacation and relaxing?

So you can see that finding the balance between all of these activities can be difficult.  At least it is of me.
It is as if I am constantly juggling, well, life.
Sometimes I just need to slow down.
Take something out of the equation. (Probably something like cleaning will have to go!)
Look at gardening as a creative activity, an art project for the summer, which I truly believe it is.
Make small rather than large artworks in order to feel that sense of accomplishment in the studio.

I really don't want to give anything up.
I think that is the problem. day at a time.
Today it is time with a friend, a little bit of weeding, and some stitching tonight.
I will have touched enough of the bases to keep the balls in the air.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Encaustic Workshop at QSDS

mixed media encaustic and collage

Thanks to everyone at the Quilt Surface Design Symposium for the great week of classes!
This includes the organizers of the event, the other teachers, the students, the artists who put on a wonderful faculty exhibit, and all of the artists and participants who donated work to the auction which raises money for scholarships.

I had 2 classes of talented and industrious students.
Below is some of their work!
I learned a lot for all of you and look forward to seeing your work in the future.
And maybe you too!

 Some of these pictures were taken as the work was in progress.